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