Rosemary Bagna Cauda with Vegetables
Bagna cauda (“hot bath”) is one of the most popular northern Italian dishes, especially in the autumn when vegetables are still abundant, but there is a nip in the air. The original recipe is only oil, garlic, and anchovies, but I find rosemary and peppers round out the flavor. It is a great light meal to share with friends who prefer vegetables over meat, but there are some details. First, if your friends are totally vegetarian, note that bagna cauda includes anchovies (although it is feasible to leave them out). Second, have the vegetables thoroughly chilled, as they will help cool off the hot oil and help keep your guests from accidentally burning their mouths, And finally, whoever those friends are, they had better all love garlic!
Makes4 to 6 servings
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby, hot & spicy, umami
Type of Dishdip/spread
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 6 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 (3-inch) sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 2 whole dried hot red chiles or ½ teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
In a metal fondue pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-low heat. Add the anchovies and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic softens and the anchovies dissolve into a paste, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining oil, rosemary, and chiles. Cook slowly just until the oil is warm, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the bagna cauda stand for 30 minutes.
When ready to serve, reheat the bagna cauda over low heat until just warm. Transfer to a metal fondue pot and keep warm over a low flame. Serve with the dipping ingredients of your choice.
1998 Rick Rodgers