James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Bagna Cauda

Notes: Bagna cauda is a buttery dip redolent of garlic and anchovies. The Tavellas make it in an electric skillet right at the table.

Sunset NOVEMBER 2003

  • Yield: Makes 8 to 12 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cans (2 oz. each) anchovies, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the flat side of a large knife
  • 2 heads radicchio (1 1/4 lb. total), rinsed, cored, and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 heads red or white Belgian endive (12 oz. total), rinsed, ends trimmed, separated into leaves
  • 3 red or yellow bell peppers (1 1/2 lb. total), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and sliced lengthwise
  • 12 green onions, rinsed, root ends and green tips trimmed
  • 8 ounces portabella mushrooms, rinsed, stemmed, and sliced
  • Sliced crusty Italian bread


1. In a 2- to 3-quart pan or an electric skillet over medium heat, stir olive oil, butter, anchovies, and garlic, breaking up anchovies and garlic slightly with the back of a fork, until butter is melted and mixture is bubbling, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand at least 10 minutes or up to 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, arrange the radicchio, endive, peppers, green onions, and mushrooms on a serving platter. Reheat butter mixture gently over low heat, then pour into a bowl or ramekin. Alternatively, pour into a 1 1/2- to 2-cup ceramic fondue pan or metal chafing dish in a water-bath jacket. Set over a votive candle or an ignited alcohol or canned solid-fuel flame. Adjust heat to lowest setting under fondue pan, to medium under chafing dish. Pass platter of vegetables and bread for guests to dip in warm bagna cauda.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 361
  • Calories from fat: 90%
  • Protein: 4.3g
  • Fat: 36g
  • Saturated fat: 8.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 8.4g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Sodium: 368mg
  • Cholesterol: 25mg

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Bagna Cauda Recipe