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Broccoli with Bagna Cauda

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Serves four.

  • To learn more, read:
    Broccoli Boldly Seasoned
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 37

Slow cooking is the secret to success with bagna cauda, the warm anchovy and garlic dip that is a specialty of Italy’s Piedmont region. There, diners dunk vegetables in a communal pot of bagna cauda (“hot bath”). Here, the pungent mixture is a sauce for steamed broccoli. You may need a flame tamer to keep the bagna cauda from burning. For this dish, it’s crucial that you choose your anchovies carefully. I like the meaty, oil-packed Agostino Recca anchovies from Sicily; they come in a glass jar (or salt-packed in large tins: these you must fillet and rinse).

  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced to a paste
  • 3 anchovy fillets, minced to a paste
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb. broccoli

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat the butter and 1 Tbs. of the olive oil over low heat until the butter melts. Add the garlic and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; don’t let the garlic brown. Add the remaining oil and the anchovies and stir to dissolve the anchovies. Cook, stirring occasionally, over lowest heat for 30 minutes, using a flame tamer if necessary to keep the garlic and anchovies from burning. The mixture should barely simmer.

While the bagna cauda cooks, trim the broccoli spears, leaving 2 inches of stem attached to the florets. Pare the stems with a vegetable peeler or a paring knife and then halve or quarter the spears lengthwise, depending on thickness.

Steam the broccoli over boiling water in a covered saucepan until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean dishtowel and pat dry and then arrange the spears on a platter or individual serving dishes. Spoon the bagna cauda over the spears.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 200; Fat (g): fat g 17; Fat Calories (kcal): 150; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 9; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 180; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 10; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Ben Fink

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