Bagna Cauda, or “hot bath”, is an Italian warm dipping sauce made from butter and olive oil and infused with the flavors of anchovies and garlic. This sauce is so tasty you will literally be bathing your vegetables in it.
There are many variations to this classic Piedmontese sauce. Some recipes use less butter than oil, others call for cream, and some will use walnut or hazelnut oil and even truffles. Traditionally it’s meant for late Fall and Winter, though it’s not stopping me from indulging year round.
It pairs well with both raw and cooked vegetables – try it with grilled artichokes, steamed broccoli, or a platter of crudites.
And the healthy fats from the butter and olive oil will help your body absorb the wonderful nutrients in your vegetables.
I use a simple 1:1 ratio between the ghee and olive oil but some variations emphasize the olive oil, others use more butter. Experiment to your taste.
Yield: 1/2 cup sauce
1/4 cup organic ghee (clarified butter), or organic unsalted butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 ounces anchovy fillets (about 12 small anchovy fillets)
Splash of fresh lemon juice – optional
1.Warm the ghee or butter and olive oil in a saucepan over low heat.
2. Add the garlic and anchovies and whisk in until the anchovies dissolve.
3. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice into the sauce and pour into a fondue pot to keep warm or a small bowl. Serve with vegetables.
Bagna Cauda Variations around the Web;
Bagan Cauda, 1960 – New York Times by Ammanda Hesser, more butter to olive oil ratio.
Marcella Hazan’s Bagna Cauda – Saveur Magazine, from the author of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, uses more oil than butter.