bagna cauda

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Bagna Cauda

From the book Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian by
Serves 8


In Piedmont, winemakers celebrate the end of the grape harvest each year with a dinner that begins with bagna cauda (literally, “warm bath”) and ends, according to tradition, with eggs scrambled in the last traces of the sauce.


½ cup butter
10 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
24 oil-packed anchovies, chopped
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
~ Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cardoon stalks, washed
~ Juice of 1 lemon
4 to 6 lb. assorted raw vegetables, at least 4 varieties (fennel, baby artichokes, Belgian endive, carrots, radicchio, celery, etc.), washed, trimmed, and cut into pieces


  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add anchovies and drizzle in olive oil. Cook over low heat, crushing anchovies slightly with a fork and stirring until flavors are blended, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  2. Carefully cut thorns and leaves off cardoon stalks, then peel with a swivel vegetable peeler. Cut cardoons into pieces 3 to 4 inches long and put into a medium bowl with lemon juice and water to cover.
  3. To serve, arrange the vegetables on a platter and put the anchovy-garlic sauce into a warm bowl so that each diner can dip vegetables into the sauce.


Culinate editor’s note: For a smoother-looking sauce, pour the sauce into a blender and blitz until homogenized. Return the sauce to the saucepan to reheat, or simply pour into a warm serving bowl.

This content is from the book Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian by Saveur Magazine.

There are 2 comments on this item
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0% recommend this recipe
1. by rtysons on Mar 13, 2009 at 12:29 PM PDT

This sounds lovely, but does anyone know where I might find cardoons? I’m pretty sure they’re not available in any of the stores here in Alaska.

2. by Caroline Cummins on Mar 20, 2009 at 7:10 PM PDT

Rtysons: Just skip the cardoons and make the sauce as is; the point is that you’re dipping veggies in a fatty, garlicky, fishy sauce.

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