This recipe for Bagna Càuda, Italian for ‘hot dip,’ is a decadent mixture of olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies served hot for dipping crusty bread and raw or boiled vegetables. Think of it as a deliciously umami fondue! A perfect way to start a meal and ready to serve in less than 20 minutes.
From the Piedmont region of Italy, Bagna Cauda means ‘hot bath’, and that’s just what it is for crisp raw or tender boiled vegetables (hello artichokes!). The ritual in the region goes like this: dip vegetables, use a slice of bread to catch any drips; when bread is saturated, eat it; repeat.
Of the regions we visited in Italy, the Piedmont felt especially lavish: the festival devoted to cheese, the spectacular wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, a parade with thousands of costumes to celebrate a bareback horserace.
We stayed at a Villa in Asti where we were twice lucky: for having an apartment next to five lovely, lively ladies from Norway and for the timing of ripened grapes, which we all worked together to pick on the last day of our visit. Tim, the Villa’s owner, promised to name the vintage ORwegian, for the couple from Oregon and the ladies from Norway who had finished the harvest (and had some fun crushing them, I Love Lucy style).
Even if you’ve never enjoyed anchovies, I bet you’ll like Bagna Cauda. Butter, olive oil and garlic work magic to make this vegetable dip rich and salty without being at all fishy.
This recipe for Bagna Càuda, Italian for 'hot dip,' is a decadent mixture of olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies served hot for dipping crusty bread, raw vegetables, or tender artichokes. Think of it as a deliciously umami fondue! A perfect way to start a meal and ready to serve in less than 20 minutes.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 anchovy filets chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- Assorted raw and/or boiled vegetables
- 1/2-inch slices of a crusty baguette or peasant loaf
Combine oil, butter, anchovies and garlic in a blender. Pulse and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed; transfer to medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve in a small dipping bowl with vegetables and bread for dipping.
A butter warmer would be ideal for this to keep the dip warm if you won't be eating it immediately.