Bagna Cauda means “hot bath” in Italian, though I first encountered this warm, luscious anchovy-butter-garlic-infused dip in the south of France. It is traditionally served as an hors d’oeuvre or first course, with cooked or raw vegetables and a good, crusty bread. Set aside fears of anchovies as they are completely dissolved into the olive oil leaving only their rich, briny deliciousness. Refrigerated leftovers will keep for weeks.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 12 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (3.5-ounce) jar anchovies
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
Warm the olive oil, garlic, anchovies, and red chili flakes in a small pot over very low heat, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing the anchovies until they dissolve. Make sure the garlic does not brown and become bitter. Whisk in the butter and serve warm.
Excerpt from California Cooking and Southern Style: 100 Great Recipes, Inspired Menus, and Gorgeous Table Settings by Frances Schultz (Skyhorse, 2019). Signed copies available at francesschultz.com