Given that cheese is a matter of national importance in Switzerland, does it surprise you that there are countless Swiss cheese recipes?
In the Valais, they have a tradition of shaving melted cheese onto potatoes: raclette. In Fribourg, a cheese fondue blend of Gruyère AOP and Fribourg Vacherin AOP is a definite signature dish. Bubbly fondue pots and glowing raclette ovens everywhere else in Switzerland often contain local “remixes” of these dishes.
From our favorite Swiss winter books, we have selected four Swiss cheese recipes that reinvent the wheel. (No pun intended!)
These recipes demonstrate that the Swiss are not afraid of experimentation. Be it a raclette recipe with wasabi, a fondue that tastes of Italy, a risotto without rice, or a chance to use the infamous green cheese of canton Glarus, Schabziger!
Japanese Style Raclette 🧀 🇯🇵
200 g of raclette cheese per person
100 g pickled ginger
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tube of wasabi
200 g mung bean sprouts
50 g nori seaweed
Photograph copyright Dorian Rollin
1. Serve all ingredients on a platter or in small bowls so each person can choose freely.
2. Place melted raclette cheese on a plate and garnish with a variety of toppings as desired.
Fusion Fondue with Bell Peppers and Grappa 🫕 🫑
1 clove of garlic, peeled and halved
300 ml white wine
800 g fondue mix
¾ red or orange bell pepper, diced
40 to 60 ml grappa liquor
500 g white bread
Photograph copyright Dorian Rollin
1. Rub the fondue pot with the garlic, which you can then leave in the pot or remove, according to taste.
2. Use the pot to heat 50 ml of the wine at medium temperature.
3. When the wine begins to heat up, add the diced bell pepper and simmer for about a minute.
4. Once the wine is hot, add ¼ of your fondue mix.
5. Stir thoroughly in a zigzag or figure 8, making sure that all the cheese around the edge and the bell pepper are thoroughly mixed in.
6. When the mixture begins to melt, gradually add the rest of the cheese and wine and half of the grappa.
7. Taste and add more grappa if required.
8. Once the mixture has completely melted, place the pot on a spirit or gel burner.
9. Season to taste with pepper, in the pot, or on the plates.
Tip: those who cannot digest bell peppers may remove their skin. Do to so, wash the peppers, set the oven to “grill”, and bake the peppers for 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them every five minutes, making them easy to peel afterwards.
Hörnli Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sbrinz Cheese 🍝🧀
Serves about 4
450 g butternut squash
250 g macaroni pasta
100 ml dry white wine (Chasselas/Fendant grape variety)
750 ml vegetable broth
100 g double cream
50 g freshly grated Alpsbrinz cheese
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons olive oil
To serve: 50 g Alpsbrinz, 2 sage leaves, 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Cut the butternut squash in half, remove the core, peel, and cut into large pieces. In a large pan, bring salted water to a boil and cook the squash pieces in it for about 20 minutes over medium heat until soft. Drain well in a colander.
2. Heat a large frying pan with some olive oil.
3. Add the chopped onion, sage leaves, and squash and sauté on medium heat for about five minutes until everything has acquired some color.
4. Deglaze with white wine, stir, then gradually add the stock over the course of about ten minutes while stirring constantly.
5. Press the squash cubes through the potato press, stir in the double cream and grated Sbrinz, season with nutmeg and salt if necessary.
6. Mix everything well and add to the pasta. Stir and heat up again.
7. Serve in deep plates, drizzle some olive oil over it, and shave some Sbrinz cheese on top using a vegetable peeler.
Tip: you could cook the squash in the oven for 20 minutes by putting the cubes on a tray with some olive oil. Alternatively, bake the entire squash in the oven and peel it afterwards.
400 g macaroni
big knob of butter
1 tbsp flour
500 ml milk
100 g Schabziger cheese, grated
200 g Gruyère or other hard cheese, grated
nutmeg, salt, and pepper
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
more butter for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Grease a large baking dish with butter (2.5 liter volume).
3. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil, and once it’s boiling, add the pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, strain it into a colander.
4. Put the empty pot back on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter, and as soon as it is bubbling, sprinkle over the tablespoon of flour. Whisk well.
5. Once the flour is dissolved, slowly pour in the milk while whisking. Once this is bubbling, add the cheeses. Stir until everything is creamy and uniform. Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.
6. Add the pasta back to the pot and give everything a good stir.
7. Pour the pasta into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and stud with bits of butter.
8. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are crisp and lightly browned.
Essential books for Swiss cheese lovers
These clever Swiss cheese recipes are courtesy of the authors of Switzerland’s best cookbooks. We can truly recommend the following publications, each combining the best of traditional Swiss recipes with new ways of enjoying them.
Haute Raclette (available in German and French, save 10% using XWYT2U) and Swiss Fondue (available in English, save 10% using NEWLYSWISSED) are must-have cookbooks for cheese lovers. They have recently been published by HELVETIQ, the brains behind many of our favorite books and games.
Hands down, Andie Pilot’s Helvetic Kitchen is the best Swiss cookbook (and cooking blog) available in English.