The first time I had raclette was in a chalet high in the French Alps. We ate in front of the fireplace. The cheese was set next to the fire, and as it melted, we took turns scraping the hot cheese onto our boiled potatoes. We sipped a lush, local wine. It was a simple yet unforgettable meal.


  • 12 small to medium boiling potatoes such as Yukon gold, Yellow Finn, or White Rose
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1–1½ lb (500–750 g) raclette cheese
  • Cornichons for serving
  • Coarse country bread, thinly sliced, for serving
  • Freshly ground pepper


In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the potatoes, salt, and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 20–25 minutes. Drain and cover to keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200°C). Cut the raclette into slices about ½ inch (12 mm) thick and remove the rind. Arrange the slices on 4 individual ovenproof plates. Place the plates in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted, 5–7 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl and arrange the cornichons and bread slices on a platter. Remove the plates of melted cheese from the oven, sprinkle with pepper, and serve at once, along with the potatoes, cornichons, and bread for dipping.