You may remember (if you follow me on Instagram) a couple of weeks ago I went to a spring feast pop up dinner hosted by my sweet friend Mouette of @sisterseaweed on instagram. She is a culinary genius and put on one of the best dinners I have ever had. Our starter was a beautiful fresh spring crudité with bagna cauda (today’s recipe) and both Paul and I almost died when we took our first bite. It was savoury heaven in its most simple exquisite form…not joking Paul asks almost daily for me to make this dip.
The number one question I get daily as of late is how is my new job going and am I happy that I took the leap into the somewhat unknown. I have to say I have never been happier job wise in my life. I am busier than heck and some days I walk around with what seems like a missing head but I have never had so much fun, and my heart has never been filled with so many pitter patter work moments. Ever. I walk into the kitchen at the café every time I am there saying how much I love everyone and how happy I am. I am sure they are getting sick of hearing me say it but I just can’t stop.
Besides getting to really use all of my creative butterflies, being surrounded by all these amazing foodies on the daily has taught me so much about food and inspiration is flying. I feel like my culinary skills are growing and growing and growing. I am learning new techniques all of the time, new flavour combinations, new foodie terms….my mind is literally bursting with thoughts and ideas.
I hate to admit that I have never heard of bagna cauda before having it at Mouette's dinner. Being surrounded by all of these foodies has made me realize, truly, how much I have to learn in the culinary world, which is exciting and kinda overwhelming at the same time. It almost makes me want to go to some kind of culinary school…maybe pastry school in Paris or the art of everything Italian in the Tuscan country side….one day dreams...(side note: I think I may have talked Paul into this over the weekend, yayyy one day, one day).
Either way I am so excited to share with you this bagna cauda recipe, maybe you have heard of it and maybe you haven’t just know it is so worth making. For the crudité it is best to use the freshest organic local ingredients. That is my philosophy all of the time but I believe especially important when they are the second half of the star in the dish. The fresher and more local you can get the better aka straight from the farm, I know there is a farm stand market around you. Nothing really beats the taste of a freshly picked spring carrot, am I right?
You can really be free with the veggies you use in your crudité, use your faves, use the ones in season. I used fresh bundles of carrots, endive, pea shoots, cabbage and sprouted broccoli. Cauliflower, peppers, cucumber, fennel, would all be delicious too.
The dip is best when it is warm from the stove and if you don't like anchovies please try it with them first. I was on the pretence that I didn't like them either but they seriously make this dip. There is a slight fishy taste but mostly it is the salty goodness you get from the anchovies. You can add less filets if you are worried and work your way up. I also think the blended garlic and anchovies would make an awesome flat bread base...maybe an upcoming recipe...
You can store any extra dip in the fridge for a couple of days and just warm it up when you need. I also served the dip with fresh bakery bread to dip as well...bread, butter, oil, garlic, anchovies there really isn't anything much better. The herbs you use to flavour the oil and butter can really be up to your imagination as well, I used basil, oregano & parsley...but a little fresh thyme or cilantro would be lovely as well.
spring crudité & bagna cauda
an assortment of fresh spring veggies ie:
bundle of carrots
pea shoots etc.
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 tbsp of butter
12 - 15 anchovy fillets
7 large cloves of garlic
fresh herbs of your choice ( i used basil, oregano, parsley)
salt & pepper to season
chop your veggies up and place them on a serving tray. you really can use any veggies you like.
in a food processor add the anchovies and garlic and blitz until smooth (you can add a touch of olive oil to help them blitz easier.
in a small sauce pan add the blended anchovies, garlic, evoo and butter. simmer for 15 minutes, season with salt and pepper, add in your chopped herbs and pour into a bowl to serve with the veggies. you can also serve a really nice loaf of fresh baked bread. dip away!