Bagna Cauda with Farmers’ Market Vegetables

Bagna cauda dip surrounded by multiple wee vegetables
Photo by Con Poulos/Food styling by Christine Albano/ Prop styling by Suzie Myers

Courtesy of Trinchero Family Estates

Soon after John and Mario Trinchero migrated to Napa Valley from New York City in 1947, they purchased an abandoned winery known as Sutter Home. The following year their families joined them and together they settled in St. Helena.

This was just the start of the family’s roots in California, and where they sought to continue to honor their Italian heritage.

Rich with oil, butter, garlic and anchovies, bagna cauda is a hot dip from the Trinchero family’s hometown in the Piedmont region of Italy. For the past 70 years, the Trincheros have celebrated harvest, the most anticipated time of year, with a traditional bagna cauda party for employees, friends, neighbors and partners. The family has passed down its simple recipe for the iconic Italian dish for generations as a reminder of the humble roots of the founding brothers.

The Trinchero family recommends a combination of vegetables to dip into bagna cauda. Asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, fennel, radicchio, squash and sweet peppers are some suggestions, but you can experiment with whatever is in season. Raw vegetables should be washed, dried, wrapped and refrigerated for at least three hours before serving. Other vegetables can be steamed until crisp and chilled quickly in an ice bath to preserve their color.

The Rise of Italian Grapes in American Vineyards
Bagna Cauda Ingredients
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 ounces flat anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, drained and minced
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cups raw or steamed vegetables, trimmed or sliced for dipping
  • Crusty Italian bread slices
Directions

In heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft but not browned, 3–4 minutes.

Stir anchovies into garlic, then pour in olive oil slowly. Blend well. Reduce heat so mixture barely simmers. Cook, stirring frequently, until oil is well flavored, 10–15 minutes. Don’t allow to brown or burn.

To serve, transfer dip to heatproof serving dish placed on warming tray or over alcohol flame. Arrange vegetables and bread alongside. Serves 4–6.

Wine Pairing

Try a zesty, mineral-driven white from Piedmont, like the Bruno Giacosa 2018 Arneis from Roero.

Published on December 14, 2019


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