Bagna Cauda with Market Vegetables
Adapted from Cooking, Blokes & Artichokes by Brendan Collins, Kyle Books ( $29.95)
A classic red from Italy’s Veneto region such as Tommasi Ripasso Valpolicella 2014 ($24.00) with rich raisin and sweet cherry flavors balances the salty anchovies and garlic flavors in this recipe.
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 5 garlic cloves, peeled and grated on a Microplane
12 anchovies preserved in olive oil, drained and minced
¼ cup whole milk
6 to 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
Various raw farmers’ market vegetables, such as fennel, cauliflower,
Belgian endive, sweet peppers, and zucchini
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the oil, garlic, and anchovies and whisk them constantly for 3 to 4 minutes. The anchovies will break apart and disperse in the oil. Whisk in the milk, followed by 6 tablespoons cold butter. As soon as the butter has melted, remove the sauce from the heat and give it a few more beats with your whisk so that everything is creamy and emulsified.
2. Taste the dip; if it’s a bit too fishy for you, add 2 tablespoons more butter. Just remember that you’ll be eating it in small amounts to liven up plain vegetables, so it should have a powerful flavor.
3. Wash the veggies and chop them into pieces appropriate for dipping. Serve with the warm dip.