"Hot Bath" Dipping Oil
Garlic and anchovies give this Piedmont dipping sauce a zip! Serve over a burner to keep it warm—and in fresh veggies and hunks of bread.
In a small saucepan, melt butter with oil over a low heat. Add garlic and sauté until it is lightly golden, but be careful not to let it brown or burn. Add anchovy paste and keep stirring to blend thoroughly. Add pepper to taste (you shouldn't need salt as the anchovies add enough for a lifetime).
Bagna Cauda is traditionally served in a small earthenware bowl with a handle and placed over a burner. Serve with a platter of fresh, raw vegetables—strips of carrots, celery, fennel, sweet peppers, cucumbers, and scallions...use your imagination! And don't forget the bread.
Tips & Glossary
Arborio Rice: a medium-grained rice. Its high starch content yields a creamy texture and is the basis for risotto.
Balsamic Vinegar: dark, thick vinegar with a sweet pungent flavor. Fermented, concentrated, and aged in wooden casks, sometimes up to 12 years. Can be pricey.
Caper: salty, pickled bud of spiny shrub native to the Mediterranean region. Most prized is the non-pareil, the smallest (approx. 1/8”), though other sizes are tasty and less expensive.
Formaggio: Cheese! Like France, Italy is a land of sublime cheeses, some 400 varieties. Here are some of the most widely sold in the U.S.
Italian Seasoning: blend of dried herbs used in Italian cooking—marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil. Packaged commercially and found in most food stores. You can also make your own.
Olive Oil: There's much more to know than is room for here. To learn all you need to know about the different grades of oil, and much, much more, head to Tanbourit.
Pine Nuts: pinoli or pignoli; edible seeds of pine trees used in pesto sauce. Before cooking, release flavor by lightly browning in a heated skillet.
Roasted peppers: buy or make your own: place under a broiler, or hold over a gas flame, till skin chars and blisters. Place in a closed paper bag for 15-20 minutes (to steam them). When cool, the skins slip off under water.
Prosciutto: especially Prosciutto di Parma, dry-cured ham from Parma. The real deal! Cured up to 2 years, is almost sweet and very expensive. You can substitute with capicola, a delicious, light peppery ham.
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