Look at this bagna cauda! Have you ever heard of it before? This is a delicious garlic, butter and anchovy dipping sauce for a bunch of raw vegetables… What a surprising and highly colorful appetizer!
Have you ever been to the city of Nice before?
Nice is s a dazzling city on the French Riviera, alongside the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve been there 3 times now and all I want to do is go back! If you have been there, then you certainly must have run into this delicious anchovy and garlic dipping sauce somewhere!
But this is not the only spot where you can find it.
This recipe originally comes from Piedmont in Italy, which is at the border with France. So not surprisingly the French must have copied it and made it their own. Anyway, I also thought that Bagna cauda was French.
Bagna cauda literally means something like a ‘hot bath’ or a hot sauce. You can kind of compare it with a classic fondue maybe. The French like put this salty anchovy sauce in the middle of the table in a ceramic bowl with a flame under it to keep it warm.
It is an appetizer, and I’ve even seen it on the menu as a main course. It often comes with boiled potatoes then.
Bagna Cauda Dipping Sauce
I also like to serve this bagna cauda cold as a surprising appetizer dipping sauce.
You can add whatever raw, blanched or boiled vegetables you like. Typical vegetables that are used for a Bagna cauda are carrot sticks, cauliflower florets, green beans, radishes, celery stalks, mushrooms, fennel, cherry tomatoes and even boiled potatoes…
Because vegetables are a great match for this salty dip!
Enjoy this southern delicacy!
Do you love canned anchovies?
Then also check out another appetizer bite that you find everywhere in Nice: my caramelized onion pizza with anchovies and black olives, a classic French pissaladiere!
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 15 canned anchovy fillets in oil
- 1 medium garlic bulb
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- Don't peel the garlic bulb or tear it apart. Leave it in one piece but chop off the tops using a sharp knife. Don't exaggerate, this will only make it easier to squeeze the soft cloves out later. Place the garlic bulb on a piece of tinfoil and sprinkle with a little olive oil, pepper and salt.
- Then wrap the garlic bulb up entirely and place it on an oven rack in a preheated oven at 400 F° (200°C) for 30 minutes until the cloves are soft and mushy. Remove the garlic bulb from the oven and put it aside until cooled down fully.
- In the meantime add the butter to a small saucepan and place it over medium heat until the butter has melted.
Then add the anchovy fillets and a little dash of pepper.
- Stir well and let the anchovy melt gently for a couple of minutes. Squeeze the soft garlic out of their pockets and add them to the anchovy butter as well.
- Stir well and take the pan off the heat. Pour the buttery mixture in a clean blender.
- Pulse into a fine mixture. Then gradually add the olive oil until the mixture starts to thicken nicely. It shouldn't be too runny.
- Pour the anchovy dipping sauce in a clean bowl and serve at room temperature accompanied by some vegetables of your choice.