As you dip the roasted beets into this delicate fondue, it will gradually turn pink. The cheese stays molten and creamy for a long time--this recipe, adapted from executive chef Jason Berthold of San Francisco's Monsieur Benjamin, is a fondue breakthrough, as far as we're concerned! When the fondue cools, it has the texture of cream cheese; post-Valentine's Day, spread it on toast as a delicious snack.

Jason Berthold
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Credit: Erin Kunkel; Styling: Christine Wolheim

Recipe Summary test

1 hr 45 mins
Serves 2 as an appetizer (serving size: 1/2 cup)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • At least 2 hours before serving, preheat oven to 375°. On a small foil-covered baking sheet, rub beets with about 1/2 tbsp. oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake until a knife point slides in without resistance, about 1 1/2 hours. Let cool until warm, then rub off skin with paper towels. Cut into wedges, drizzle with a little more oil, and set aside in a small serving bowl.

  • While beets are cooking, put potatoes in a pot, cover with water, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Make fondue: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine wine, 1/4 cup water, the shallot, garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Simmer gently, uncovered, until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes.

  • Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup and discard solids. Return seasoned wine to saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

  • Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together milk, 1/4 cup water, the cornstarch, salt, and sugar. Whisk milk-cornstarch mixture into simmering wine. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until it thick­ens, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add cheese, whisking until smooth. Season to taste with salt and keep warm.

  • To serve, cut apple into thin slices and separate Belgian endive into leaves. Slice any large potatoes in half and arrange everything, along with bowl of beets, on a platter. Pour fondue into a small deep baking dish, sprinkle with thyme leaves, and set on platter.

  • Make ahead: Beets, up to 3 days, chilled. Fondue, up to 2 days, cooled at room temperature, then chilled with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly onto surface of fondue. Rewarm in a saucepan over low heat, whisking constantly.

  • Wine pairing: A crisp, tangy white like Long Meadow Ranch 2014 Sauvignon Blanc (Rutherford, Napa Valley; $22). Its grassy, limestone character brings out the thyme in the fondue, and its zingy citrus keeps step with the goat cheese. This wine is available as part of a special intro offer to Sunset's new wine club, Firstleaf. --Sara Schneider


Monsieur Benjamin, San Francisco

Nutrition Facts

608 calories; calories from fat 34%; protein 24g; fat 23g; saturated fat 14g; carbohydrates 69g; fiber 11g; sodium 1157mg; cholesterol 42mg.