Dip Quickly (bagna cauda)

Dip, dip, dipdipdip. Dipdipdipdipdip.

You will have to dip quickly to keep this slippery stuff on your vegetables. A mixture of oil, anchovies, garlic and butter is bound to slide right off your dipping vessel. But if you’re quick enough, it will slide right into your mouth and it will be so worth it.

Much more than the sum of its parts, this mixture of pungent ingredients becomes silky and luxurious when heated, a wonderful dip for vegetables. Through some sort of secret process, or perhaps magic, it transforms Belgian endive into a sweeter version of itself and gives grilled zucchini a lush loveliness you would never suspect it can possess. I imagine it would be lovely with lightly steamed broccoli as well, and in combination with green asparagus… my salivary glands start working overtime at the mere thought.

Happy quick dipping!

Bagna Cauda

This is not an exact recipe- with something this intense, you will want to adjust proportions to your own liking. I will give the amounts I used for a dinner for one, though, to give you an idea of where to start.

Serves one, easily multiplied

Based on Nigella Bites

4 tbsp olive oil
6 anchovies packed in oil, drained
2 cloves of garlic, minced
knob of cold butter, about 2 tbsp

Gently heat the olive oil in a small saucepan. There should be enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. If not, add more. Add the garlic and the anchovies and continue heating gently, stirring regularly until the anchovies have “dissolved” in the hot oil. Then remove the pan from the heat and add the cold butter. Whisk until the butter is fully incorporated and the mixture has thickened slightly. Taste, and add more butter if you like, then whisk again.

Serve with leaves of Belgian endive, strips of grilled zucchini or other vegetables with a bite. Keep warm if possible and dip quickly.


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Filed under party tricks, vegetables

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