Cardoons bagna càuda
Bagna càuda, (from the Piedmontese "hot sauce", alternatively written bagna caôda, etymologically related to Italian root bagn-, meaning "wet") is a warm dip typical of Piedmont, Italy. The dish, which is served and consumed in a manner similar to fondue, is made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, butter, and in some parts of the region cream. The dish is eaten by dipping raw, boiled or roasted vegetables, especially cardoon, celery, cauliflower, artichokes, peppers and onions. It is traditionally eaten during the autumn and winter months and must be served hot, as the name suggests.
Originally, in Piedmont, the Bagna càuda was placed in a big pan (peila) in the center of the table for communal sharing. Now, it is usually served in individual pots (the fojòt, a type of fondue pot traditionally made of terra cotta).
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1 kg (2.5 lb) cardoons
- 150g (5 oz) butter
- Olive oil for greasing
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thickly sliced
- 12 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
- 40 g (1.5 oz) Parmesan cheese
- Sea salt
- To a large pan, add 2 litres (3.5 pints) of water, a big pinch of salt and the lemon juice and bring to the boil.
- Remove the leaves and trim the ends, run a mandoline or potato peeler down the back and remove any strings, as you would with old celery.
- Cut the cardoons into 7.5 cm (3") lengths and drop them into the boiling pan.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F - Gas 4)
- Grease an ovenproof dish with olive oil.
- Drain the cardoons and add to the dish.
- In a separate pan, melt the butter and sautee the garlic until it begins to colour.
- Remove and discard the garlic as it has done its job.
- Add the anchovies and stir them well so they start to break up.
- Pour the butter over the cardoons, sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes.
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