Though I don’t crave fondue when the temperature soars into the nineties, Swiss cheeses in other forms can make a great addition to warm weather meals.  Try some of the following suggestions and you’ll add sparkle when the temperature is wiltingly hot.

  1. Add some coarsely grated Gruyere or Emmentaler to any tossed salad.  Add some sliced hard-cooked eggs and some toasted walnuts and it becomes a light main course.
  2.  Try a cheese salad as a first course:  Cut Gruyere or Emmentaler into thin sticks and combine with a sliced celery heart, chopped toasted walnuts or pecans, a spoonful of chopped parsley and a quick dressing of oil and lemon flavored with a dash of mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. Use the toaster oven instead of the oven for great open-faced melted cheese sandwiches called Kaeseschnitten (cheese slices).  Toast a slice of bread for each sandwich and spread with a little mustard.  Top with shreds of ham, cooked asparagus, slices of tomato, or a combination.  Top with several slices of Gruyere or Emmentaler and bake until heated through and the cheese is bubbling.  Serve immediately.  For brunch, try adding a fried or poached egg to the top of each.
  4. Baked eggs with Gruyere or Appenzeller:  This is another great use for the toaster oven in warm weather.  Butter a gratin dish and break in 4 to 6 eggs.  Salt and pepper the eggs and add about 1 /2 cup heavy cream.  Cover with a cup of coarsely grated Gruyere or Appenzeller cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes, or until eggs are just set and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  5. Cheese Bruschetta:  Toast some large slices of open-textured peasant bread.  Drizzle with a little walnut oil and rub lightly with garlic.  Make a little salad from diced ripe tomatoes, coarsely grated Gruyere and a little torn basil.  Dress with a pinch of salt and a little walnut oil.  Spoon over the bread and allow to stand half an hour for some of the tomato juices to penetrate the bread.