Wednesday 17 December 2014

Bagna cauda - a party pleaser for IHCC

 So, this week's theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs is Party Pleasers. As already mentioned, I'm not feeling enormously Christmassy yet, although I have made some progress on the Christmas dinner planning.

I gave some thought to what I like at parties, and narrowed it down to food and booze. Preferably food that can be eaten with one hand so that I don't lose track of my drink.

Bagna cauda is a classic, punchy Italian dip of garlic and anchovies in oil, served warm, with a selection of raw and lightly cooked vegetables. And as it happens, Diana Henry has recipes for it in a couple of her books. I used the one in Cook Simple, which is basic and classic, although I have subsequently read the recipe in A Change of Appetite, which uses milk and is thickened with breadcrumbs, and I actually think that one sounds even better.

We actually had it as a light dinner on a day when we needed a big hit of vegetables, and used raw baby fennel, red peppers, celery and radishes, and steamed carrots and cauliflower alongside some boiled eggs. Perfect.
The lens got a bit steamed up - I didn't deliberately go for soft-focus.


Barbara said...

I was unfamiliar with this...looked it up and discovered it's often served like a fondue. Not 100% behind the anchovies, but would love to try it.

Joanne said...

I've actually never had bagna cauda but it sounds like such a lovely meal!

Joyce Rachel Lee said...

Ah, now I know what's bagna cauda. Thanks!

kitchen flavours said...

This looks wonderful! And just perfect for a party! I like anchovies!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I first had bagna cauda at a little Italian restaurant years ago and have loved it ever since. I am going to tag this one and the one in Change of Appetite to make. Love your dippers--especially the fennel. ;-)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Barbara - more like a warm dip; it's kept warm but you don't cook the vegetables in it. The anchovies just make it salty and delicious!

Joanne - it's so good!

Joyce - it really is delicious.

Joyce - I don't understand why more people *don't* like anchovies!

Deb - the baby fennel was so lovely!

Zosia said...

I've only had (a variation of) bagna cauda as a sauce for fish but would love to try it in its traditional form with that beautiful plate of vegetables!


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