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.
Martha Stewart Living, August
- 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
- Put milk into a shallow dish. Add anchovy fillets; soak 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels; pat dry. Coarsely chop.
- 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.
- 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.
- Whisk in lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with the vegetables.
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