Ah, bagna cauda.
Such a delicious treat.
Bagna Càuda means "hot bath" in Italian, and is a Piemontese dip made with good anchovies, good olive oil and garlic.
Mario Batali adds milk to his recipe, but I have not tried it that way.
I posted this recipe years back to serve with raw vegetables, cauliflower, fennel and celery being the verdura of choice.
Melissa Clark recently posted this recipe for a Bagna Cauda dressing over arugula and avocado in the New York Times.
I was curious.
I thought the arugula would not hold up to the meaty warm anchovy dressing, so I served the dressing over Romaine lettuce and sliced endive spears.
The warm anchovy dressing over the avocado was a home run. This is an addictive salad.
If you love Caesar salad, then you will love this one even more.
Salad w/ Bagna Cauda & Avocado (adapted from the NY Times):
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 anchovies, finely chopped
1 very large garlic clove, minced
large pinch kosher salt
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 cups of Romaine lettuce & endive spears, sliced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
In a small skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add anchovies and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until anchovies melt into the oil, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat and whisk in salt, vinegar and pepper.
Let cool to room temperature.
In a serving bowl, toss arugula with just enough dressing to coat. Season well with black pepper. In a smaller bowl, very gently toss avocado with more of the dressing (you may not need it all). Add avocado to arugula and very gently combine.