This Piemontese regional favorite enlivens vegetables with a tangy vinaigrette-based sauce
In Piemontese cuisine, vinaigrette-like sauces are commonly used to dress up fresh fruits and veggies. The regional favorite? Bagna cauda.
Bagna cauda is a warm, punchy “vinaigrette” used to brighten up vegetables, potatoes, meats and bread. It is made with olive oil, garlic, and anchovies steeped in vinegar and kept warm. (If you’re looking for some inspired vinaigrettes, check out my healthy vinaigrette recipes here.)
When I make bagna cauda, I like to add a light touch of sweetness to round out these vibrant flavors and bring the whole thing together.
Bagna cauda translates loosely to “hot bath,” and is in many ways similar to fondue. It originated in Piemonte in the 16th century and is still a crowd-pleaser today.
I love this dish because it offers such a wonderful way to connect over food. It’s the perfect party appetizer or family share meal. Just imagine gathering around a table with your friends and family and laughing over a big plate of crudités, fresh bread, and a hot bowl of yummy bagna cauda. Delightful!
Traditional Piemontese Bagna Cauda Recipe
- Small pot
- Aluminum foil
- Small serving bowls for the dip
- 125 grams garlic (about 2 heads)
- 50 grams anchovies or capers for vegan option
- 150 grams olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp butter or vegan butter
- 1 tbsp heavy cream omit for vegan version
- 1 tsp AnnaMaria's Bell Pepper Jam
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Get as much of the papery outside of the heads of garlic and cut the very top of the head off to expose most of the cloves
- Put the 2 heads on aluminum foil, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, and close the foil around them
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes
- Let cool and take out all the cloves from their shells, measuring out 125 grams for the recipe
Prepare Bagna Cauda Dip
- In a small pot combine the oil, butter and anchovies or capers
- Simmer, covered, on low heat, it should be bubbling just a little bit, for 15 minutes
- Add garlic and simmer covered for 10 more minutes.
- Blend with an inversion blender until it is a creamy consistency. Be very careful as it is very hot.
- Add the Bell Pepper Jam
- Add Heavy Cream (omit for vegan option)