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Swiss-Wrapped Basil Appetizer

“It is a remarkable circumstance that the barbarous nations which subsist on milk for so long have been for so many ages either ignorant of the merits of cheese, or else have totally disregarded it; and yet they understand how to thicken milk and from there form an acrid kind of liquid with a pleasant flavor.”

-Pliny the Elder

For reference, Celts of 300 BCE-1400 CE Central Europe had a knack for heating milk to a near cheese-like consistency, yet never compiling the proper ingredients for hard, Roman-style cheese. Only by the early 15th century did the Roman recipe reach Swiss chefs' notice. Combining the style of Celtic milk curdling with Rome's special ingredient, rennet, led to what most non-Swiss citizens today call Swiss cheese.

Prep: 5 min | Cooking: 5 min | Total: 10 min

Yields 8 wraps


  • Swiss cheese, sliced (8 slices)

  • Basil (1/2 cup, packed)


  1. Fill a pot with about 1 1/2 inches of water. Bring to a boil on high heat.

  2. While water is heating, place slices of cheese on a flat surface. Spread about 5 basil leaves on one half of each slice. From the side with basil, fold the cheese over the basil and roll until all is wrapped. Do so for all slices.

  3. Place wraps vertically in one or several large heat-tolerant cups. Place cups down into boiling water. Cover pot with lid and steam 1-2 minutes or until cheese looks as though it's starting to melt (will look sweaty and opaque).

  4. Remove wraps from cups and place on a serving dish. Serve.

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