– an eclectic blog

Bagna Càuda

April 27th, 2014 by kimly

Literally translated as “warm bath,” bagna càuda has three favorite Mediterranean ingredients: garlic, olive oil, and anchovies.

I don’t remember what I was searching for when I stumbled across this recipe. But it sounded awesome so I bought my first can of anchovies and the rest is history. I made my first batch the weekend of March 29-30. Once it was finished I dunked some sourdough into it and quickly fell in love. The following week my parents and aunt and uncle dropped by for the night on their way to Nashville for the Women’s Final Four – bleed blue husky nation! We were roasting brussel sprouts and instead of olive oil and salt, we coated them in this sauce – it came out amazing. I also put a small dish on the island and the love spread quickly.

So when I arrived in Connecticut for Easter weekend, I whipped up a double batch (depicted below). I think I used more garlic than specified but with the differing sizes of cloves it really doesn’t make much difference. The limiting factor are the anchovies. The can had about 8 fillets so I doubled the butter (to 2 sticks) and olive oil (to 1 full cup). I didn’t rinse oil packed anchovies but did scrape out some of the stray bones. I also believe I used more lemon zest and juice than strictly called for. I zested 2 lemons and used all their juice. I also didn’t add any extra salt – the anchovies were salty enough for us. Your mileage may vary.

I used a small food processor to make the paste – used a knife the first time when I made only a single batch. If you don’t have good knife skills the food processor is definitely easier. I keep the extra in the frig in glass peanut butter jars or canning jars and use the microwave to reheat as needed (remove the lid first, please.)

Adapted from Alexandra Stafford as adapted from Nancy Silverton

Summary: A killer recipe from her famous sandwich book.

2 to 3 fat garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
4 3-inch-long salt-packed* anchovies, rinsed well, backbones removed, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
3 to 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to tastes
Kosher salt, to taste

*I still have never used these guys. Have been meaning to order a tin for the longest time. The oil packed anchovies work just fine if you can’t find the salt-packed.
1. Using a mortar and pestle (I used the food processor…lazy), pulverize the garlic and anchovies until a smooth paste.
2. Transfer the paste to a small saucepan. Add the butter and olive oil and bring to a simmer over low heat. Continue simmering for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste. Taste and season with salt and more lemon juice until you’re like “holy crap, there’s nothing left to live for.” Note: This can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Just be sure to rewarm it slightly before serving — I used the microwave.

heat a heavy bottomed pan large enough to hold the amount a liquid being simmered – over medium low heat

zest and juice lemons – set aside

peel garlic and debone anchovies – add to food processor

pulse until paste forms

add paste to heavy bottomed pot and turn on heat to medium – add butter and olive oil – heat to a simmer

remove from heat, add lemon zest and lemon juice – serve warm or jar for future use

some additional reading: wiki

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