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TIP OF THE DAY: Bagna Càuda, A “Hot Bath” Dip With Garlic

Bagna càuda, pronounced BON-ya COW-da, is a riff on crudités with dip. The name means “hot bath”; the dip is olive oil and butter, seasoned with garlic and anchovies and served hot. Bagna caôda is an alternative spelling.

A dish from Italy’s Piedmont region, bagna càuda is served during the autumn and winter months, often as part of a Christmas Eve buffet. Why not try it on New Year’s Eve?

Traditional dippers in Piedmont include artichokes, bell peppers, cardoons*, carrots, cauliflower, celery, fennel and green onions.

In some parts of Piedmont, cream is used instead of butter; and hazelnut or walnut oil is substituted for the olive oil. If you’re in Alba, lucky you: There may be some truffles added to to the oil.

Here’s the drill:

  • Heat the seasoned oil.
  • Provide slices of baguette to hold underneath the vegetable to catch the drippings and turn into its own snack.
  • To keep the oil warm, you can use a fondue pot with fondue forks for dipping. A flat cheese fondue pot works best, or a chafing dish on a hot plate or a brazier.
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    RECIPE: BAGNA CÀUDA DIP

    Ingredients

  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup olive oil plus oil for browning
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6-12 best quality anchovy fillets, well drained
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley leaves
  • Optional: pinch of chile flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Assorted fresh vegetables, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 baguette or similar loaf, sliced into 2-inch pieces
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    Preparation

     

    Bagna Cauda
    [1] Bagna cauda is a “hot bath” of seasoned olive oil for dipping raw vegetables. Here’s the recipe from Lucero Olive Oil.

    bagna-cauda-finedininglovers-230r
    [2] This bagna càuda is served in a regular dish, not a fondue pot. Photo courtesy FineDiningLovers.com; here’s their recipe.

     
    1. BROWN the garlic cloves in some olive oil, about 5 minutes. Add the optional chile flakes before removing from the flame.

    2. BLEND the oil, butter, anchovies and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the dip to a medium saucepan, taste and season as desired.

    3. HEAT over a low flame for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to fondue pot or dish. Stir in the parsley right before serving.

    4. SERVE with crudités and bread.

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    *Cardoons are relative of artichokes, and aren’t readily available in the U.S. they resemble celery.

      




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