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Bagna Cauda With Spring Vegetables

Bagna cauda in a small bowl surrounded by fresh spring vegetables
Photograph by Paola + Murray, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Marina Bevilacqua 

This warm anchovy dip has been made in Piedmont, Italy, since at least the 16th century, where it’s often paired with cardoons and sweet peppers. Bagna cauda (the name translates to “hot bath”) is a dish with humble roots, made by vineyard workers as a warming snack during colder months. Classically, it’s served in an earthenware vessel over embers or an open flame, as with fondue.

Though American versions of the dish sometimes include cream, chef Stefano Secchi of New York City’s Rezdôra keeps his version classic to Piedmont: nothing more than anchovies, olive oil, and garlic, paired with the season’s snappiest raw vegetables. The dressing will separate and settle rather than form a cohesive emulsion, so use your best olive oil—you’ll taste it.

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What you’ll need

Ingredients

4 servings

½

cup extra-virgin olive oil

14

garlic cloves

12

olive-oil-packed anchovy fillets (from at least a 2-oz. tin)

Chilled crunchy raw produce (such as radishes, carrots, baby lettuces, fennel, romanesco,endive, and/or unripe pears; for serving)

Preparation

Step 1

Pour water into a small pot or large saucepan to come 2" up the sides; bring to a simmer. Combine oil, garlic, and anchovies in a bowl that will fit snugly on top of pot without touching the water. Set over simmering water and cook, without stirring but adjusting heat as needed so only a few bubbles are breaking on the surface of the oil, until mixture is hot and garlic is soft, 75–85 minutes. Remove pan from heat with the bowl still set on top. Let cool 15 minutes, then smash garlic with a fork or wooden spoon and mix well with anchovies.

Step 2

Transfer warm bagna cauda to a small bowl and serve with produce alongside for dipping.