Genoa’s Bagna Càuda (Μπάνια Καούντα)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Adapted from Genoa Restaurant recipe, Portland, Oregon
Genoa’s Bagna Càuda must be kept warm over a burner at all times; the reduced cream stiffens up when it cools. The anonymous author of Genoa’s recipe explains how to eat it: “[This] is a dish to be enjoyed without ceremony – pick up vegetable or bread stick with fingers, dip it in the sauce until well covered, and consume. If butter and cream separate, pour in a bit of cold cream and whisk hard. The sauce will return to its former velvet-like texture.”
2 cups heavy cream
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 2-ounce can anchovy fillets, drained of oil
Dash of cayenne
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Selection of Vegetables: Raw or roasted red peppers, raw or lightly steamed broccoli or cauliflower, celery, carrots, zucchini, cardoons, radishes, green onions, radicchio, fennel, cherry tomatoes, boiled potatoes
Selection of Bread: artisan-style bread, foccacia, breadsticks
In a heavy saucepan, simmer cream with garlic until the cream is thick and reduced to 1 cup. Watch the cream carefully as it cooks; don’t let it boil over. Put the reduced cream, anchovies, and cayenne into a blender and purée until the mixture is very smooth. (The recipe may be made ahead to this point.)
Return the mixture to the pan and bring to a very slow simmer. Stir in the butter until it melts. While the dip simmers, cut the vegetables and bread into shapes appropriate for dipping.
Serve in a fondue dish or other pot which can keep the dip hot. Dip the cold vegetables in the hot sauce.