Bagna Cauda con Verdure (Bagna Cauda with Vegetables)

Image

Bagna Cauda is a warm dish typical of the Piedmont region where the Italian is from. Traditionally eaten on 1 November, or All Saints’ Day, the dish is strong, savoury, and – served with a wide array of autumnal vegetables – reminiscent of the fall harvest. The “Wet Bath” mixture of anchovies, olive oil, butter and loads of garlic is served and consumed in a manner similar to fondue, originally out of a big pot placed at the centre of the table in which guests would dip their vegetables.

Today it is usually served in individual terra cotta pots with a small flame underneath. The mixture is eaten by dipping raw, boiled, or roasted vegetables, including: carrots, beets, fennel, onions, asparagus, celery, potatoes, cabbage, and peppers.  At the end, when only a little sauce is left in the bagna cauda pot, it’s usual to break an egg into the pot for each person, and let it cook very slowly.

Image

This is the third year that the Italian and I have made bagna cauda together. It’s a great social food for when the weather starts turning colder and heavier dishes begin to make an appearance. We had a good group over for the feast, and it was a hit! I followed up the main attraction with some appropriately fall-themed pumpkin cupcakes (see recipe: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting).

Bagna Cauda with Vegetables

Recipe for 4 people

Ingredients:

1 or 2 garlic bulbs (depending on how strong you want the garlic flavor)

Milk – 1/2 cup

Anchovies in oil – 250 grams

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 400 mL or 1 3/4 cup

Single cream – 1 cup

Directions:

Cut the garlic in half along the long side. Remove the “soul” of the garlic – the strong part of the garlic in its centre. (In Italian this is called the anima or “soul” of the garlic.

Chop the garlic very finely.

Cook garlic in a small pot and add just enough milk to cover the garlic. Cook on low flame until the garlic is soft enough to smash with a fork.

Mash the garlic and milk mixture with a fork while cooking to make a puree.

In a separate pot over a low flame, heat 1 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and add the anchovies. Take care to not let the mixture reach a boil. Stir the mixture until the anchovies flake.

Add garlic/milk puree when the anchovies have disintegrated. Cook for approximately one hour, stirring frequently.

Just before serving, add one cup of single cream and mix.  Add extra cream to taste to dilute saltiness, if desired.

Serve in terra cotta pots with flame underneath to keep the Bagna Cauda warm and liquid.

Prepare vegetables and arrange  on large serving platter and/or basket placed at the centre of the table.

Dip vegetables into Bagna Cauda and enjoy!

Suggested Vegetables:

Carrots (raw)

Beets

Fennel (raw)

Onions (baked in oven whole with skin, then peeled)

Asparagus (boiled)

Celery (raw)

Potatoes (boiled)

Cabbage (raw)

Peppers (raw and roasted)

Radicchio (raw)

Directions with Pictures: 

Image

Garlic bulbs

Image

Cut the garlic in half along the long side. Remove the “soul” of the garlic – the strong part of the garlic in its centre. (In Italian this is called the anima or “soul” of the garlic.

Image

Chop the garlic very finely.

Image

Cook garlic in a small pot and add just enough milk to cover the garlic. Cook on low flame until the garlic is soft enough to smash with a fork.

Image

In a separate pot over a low flame, heat 1 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and add the anchovies. Take care to not let the mixture reach a boil. Stir the mixture until the anchovies flake.

Image

Add garlic/milk puree when the anchovies have disintegrated. Cook for approximately one hour, stirring frequently.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s