Summer Bagna Cauda

Set out a dish of peppery extra-virgin olive oil with a dash of aged balsamic vinegar, Vincotto (sweet Italian vinegar), or verjus for dipping.

  • Servings: 6
Summer Bagna Cauda

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August

Ingredients

  • Whole milk, for soaking
  • 2 ounces anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 young garlic cloves (or regular garlic), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt flakes, and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pounds fresh vegetables, such as celery, Belgian endive, young wild fennel (halved lengthwise), Persian cucumbers (halved or quartered lengthwise), purple scallions, and Romano beans, plus Calimyrna figs, for serving

Directions

  1. Put milk into a shallow dish. Add anchovy fillets; soak 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels; pat dry. Coarsely chop.

  2. Put 1/4 cup oil and the garlic into a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until garlic softens but does not brown, about 5 minutes. Add anchovies. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Add butter. Cook, whisking, until butter has melted.

  3. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture thickens and comes together. If the mixture separates at any point, add 2 ice cubes, and whisk until mixture comes together; remove partially melted ice cubes.

  4. Whisk in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with the vegetables.

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