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Broccoli with Bagna Cauda

Ben Fink

Servings: four.

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

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 200
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 150
  • Fat (g): 17
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 10
  • Sodium (mg): 180
  • Carbohydrates (g): 9
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 5


  • 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.


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