Bagna cauda

Bagna cauda, a simple Italian 'fondue', is a great way to celebrate spring vegetables.
Bagna cauda, a simple Italian 'fondue', is a great way to celebrate spring vegetables. Photo: Marcel Aucar
Difficulty
Easy

Bagna cauda is a classic dipping sauce from Piedmont in Italy's north-west. It is traditionally kept warm in a terracotta pot over a flame and used as a dip for fresh vegetables. I also like to serve it over torn fresh mozzarella, or over grilled fish, with shaved globe artichokes and plenty of fresh lemon.

Ingredients

80g quality anchovies, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely grated

120ml extra virgin olive oil

80g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt flakes

Method

1. Add the anchovies, garlic and a little of the oil to a small pot and gently warm through. Once the anchovies have dissolved into a paste, add the remaining oil and let it just come to a bubble. Off the heat, add the butter and stir through to melt and combine. Add plenty of pepper and some salt - even though the anchovies are salty, this sauce needs a good, salty punch.

Tip You can use this as a sauce for vegetable dishes or salads, or the traditional way, with fresh crudites, such as dutch carrots, soft lettuces, whole radishes, celery heart, fennel, lightly blanched beans or sugar snap peas, spring or salad onions.