Food Word: Bagna Cauda
Updated: Nov 30, 2018
What is Bagna Cauda?
Bagna Cauda, which translates to “hot bath," is a warm dipping sauce made from a base of olive oil, anchovies, and garlic. This Piedmontese specialty is often served with crudités (raw vegetables) and crusty bread and is often served over a candle to keep it warm.
Why I like it
Bagna Cauda is a nice change from the typical sour cream dips for veggies and the oil and vinegar emulsion for bread. I also love that there are so many ways to vary Bagna Cauda – add cream, wine, or switch out olive oil for walnut or pistachio. Most recipes include a bit of heat – or in my case a lot – because that’s how I like it!
People might shy away from Bagna Cauda because they see the word “anchovies." Remember, though, you can vary the amount of anchovies you use and amp up the garlic to suit your tastes! I made two types of Bagna Cauda: one with cream and another without. As for which one I prefer, it depends. The creamy sauce is yummy with crudités and clings to the veggies so nicely. The olive oil sauce is just the right touch for bread without making it feel heavy and also a bit more savvy chic. In either case, because the sauces are so flavorful, you only need a small dip.