Bagna cauda, literally “hot bath,” is traditionally made with olive oil, garlic and anchovies and served with crudités for dipping. In this delicious twist on the Italian classic, we add some walnut oil as well, which lends a nutty taste to the warm sauce. It makes a convivial appetizer for a casual gathering. Feel free to vary the vegetables, depending on what looks best at your farmers’ market.
Walnut Bagna Cauda with Crudités
For the crudités:
- Handful of fava beans, shelled
- Handful of broccolini, trimmed
- 1 small bunch radishes
- 2 spring onions, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 1 bunch small rainbow carrots, tops trimmed to about 1 inch (2.5 cm)
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
For the bagna cauda:
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) walnut oil
- 6 garlic cloves, grated
- 8 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
- 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 Tbs. chopped toasted walnuts
1. To prepare the crudités, bring a saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fava beans and boil for 1 minute, then use a skimmer to transfer them to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, squeeze each bean free of its tough outer skin. Return the water to a boil, add the broccolini and blanch until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
2. Trim the tops of the radishes to about 1/2 inch (12 mm). Cut the larger radishes in half lengthwise and leave the smaller ones whole. Arrange the fava beans, broccolini, radishes, spring onions, carrots and fennel on a serving platter.
3. To prepare the bagna cauda, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the olive and walnut oils and heat until warm, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and anchovies and simmer for 5 minutes, using a whisk or wooden spoon to mash the anchovies until dissolved. Stir in the butter until melted.
4. Pour the bagna cauda into a serving bowl and top with the walnuts. Serve warm alongside the crudités. Serves 6 to 8.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen