It’s a rare occurrence when I stumble upon a recipe that I fall head over heels in love with and even rarer still when I come across one where, despite several attempts to enhance it, discover that in the end, the original recipe requires no fooling with at all. This is Jayden Hair, from Steamy Kitchens’, interpretation of bagna cauda — laced with pungent anchovies and garlic and steeped in lavish quantities of butter and olive oil. The brininess from the anchovy filets and the sharpness of the garlic blend so naturally and deliciously here to the point of serious — and welcomed — intoxication. The first night I made this I found it to be so incredibly alluring and tantalizing and despite my best efforts (though that’s not saying much re: food), couldn’t persuade myself to stray from the kitchen counter for too long before I returned, elbows down, toes curled, lustily devouring every morsel of bagna cauda-swaddled veg.
I could honestly consume this every minute of every day of my entire lifetime and be silly happy. And if that’s not love then I don’t know what is.
Garlicky bagna cauda with split radishes and broccoli and cauliflower florets
Makes enough for an anchovy-crazed couple to devour in one sitting, with wine (of course)
1 can premium anchovies packed in olive oil
3 fat garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 tablespoons your best olive oil
1 stick unsalted butter, preferably Irish, sliced
generous pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bunch radishes, cleaned and trimmed then halved
1 small head cauliflower, cut into imperfect wedges, steaks, florets
1 small head broccoli, also chopped into dippable shapes
In a small food processor or pestle and mortar, grind the anchovies (with the olive oil it was packaged in), garlic, and additional olive oil until fine. Drop this into a small saucepan along with the slices of butter and ignite to medium-low heat. Add in the red pepper flakes, stir, and let this bathe for several minutes, about 5. Pour this carefully into a small bowl and serve immediately with the raw radishes, broccoli, and cauliflower.