Miscellaneous - Bagna Cauda, hot dip for vegetables

12-01-2007, 07:53 PM
Every year near Christmas or New Year, my mother would make Bagna Cauda (we prounounced it Bahnya Calda). My dad's mom (italian) taught her how to make it. There are a lot of great recipes online. I made it today with minced dry garlic instead of fresh. It is very good, but not nearly as good as fresh. I don't like it with jarred garlic at all.

1 lb butter (or up to half olive oil)
1 can anchovies (2 oz can)
chopped fresh garlic as much as you'd like, we usually use 6-10 cloves
1 cup heavy cream (optional)

Raw and cooked veggies for dipping - steamed asparagus, cabbage leaves, raw or steamed broccoli, carrot and celery sticks...

Melt butter in skillet. Add chopped garlic and saute over low to medium low heat. Pour off oil from anchovies into skillet, chop anchovies and toss into butter also (you can also just throw the anchovies in whole and mash them with the back or side of a spoon, as the sauce simmers the anchovies pretty much dissolve on their own).

Don't let the butter or garlic brown, just let it simmer until the garlic gets soft and mellow tasting and the anchovies sort of dissolve into a gray sludge at the bottom of the sauce. Stir in the heavy cream (if you want to use it)
and just keep on the heat a minute or so to bring it back to a hot, barely bubbling. Transfer into individual bowls, or put skillet in the middle of the table to share, like fondu.

Use any fresh or steamed vegetables as dippers (crusty bread and boiled potatoes are also traditional, but not low carb).

My parents would make it in an electric skillet for parties and keep it on low. Eveyone dips veggies (and french bread) into it like fondue. They'd throw raw mushrooms into the skillet with the dip and the mushrooms would slowly cook in the butter. At the end of the night, when the dip was gone, people would scoop out the cooked mushrooms.

12-21-2007, 02:21 PM
I think this sounds wonderful. I am going to make it for our Christmas finger food meal. We love to try new recipes.

12-21-2007, 03:56 PM
If you like shrimp scampi butter, you'll love this. It's absolutely decadent with crusty bread. My husband tried it with bread when I made it the day I posted the recipe, and says he now understand "the fuss" my parents and I make over it. When he tried it with the vegetables several years ago, he wasn't impressed (but he's not a raw veggie fan).

I love raw cabbage leaves dipped in it, and the mushrooms cooked in it, but I will admit that the crusty bread is the best tasting (and least healthy) way to eat this.

12-26-2007, 02:26 PM
I made this for the Christmas get together yesterday and it was the hit of the party! I put the mushrooms in since we all love them so much. It was equally great with sour dough bread and raw veggies. Thanks for sharing - we now have another recipe that will be a family favorite for years to come!


12-26-2007, 03:30 PM
Your very welcome Jacque,

Glad to hear everyone enjoyed it.

12-26-2007, 05:43 PM
Oh yum! I'd forgotten that recipe. I may make if for New Year's too. We used to dip pieces of fish and cooked potato into it. Or was that aioli?

Divine Diva
09-26-2010, 04:57 PM
Just returned to this forum and I LOVE Bagna Caulda! I now it it at least once a month and cabbage is my favorite with it, if I can't have bread..I'm from Illinois and it's a staple at holidays...thanks

05-29-2011, 07:25 AM
I know this is an old thread but I just had to reply. This is what Christmas smells like in my family!

05-29-2011, 10:23 AM
I haven't had Bagna Cauda for a long time ! If you have a spouse or SO be sure they eat some, too as there is a lot of garlic in it.