Piemonte (Piedmont), like Valle d'Aosta, is nestled in the northwest corner of Italy, surrounded by France, Switzerland, and the Alps. Literally, "pied monte" means "at the foot of the mountains". Many tourists enjoy this feature, experiencing great skiing in the Alps. If I were a smart person, I would have taken the mountainous terrain into account when making Bagna Cauda, a traditional antipasto dish from Piemonte.
I'll give you one hint as to why this appetizer didn't go over so well between Ryan and I on a 94 degree summer day (Yes, once in awhile it gets over 70 degrees in Maine). Bagna Cauda is translated to mean "warm bath". Basically, it is a hot garlic anchovy dip that you use with veggies and bread. On a hot summer day, I would lean more towards just putting some high quality olive oil on a plate with some garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and dipping my bread in that. I'm going to include a picture even though it looks fairly unidentifiable as anything more than olive oil in a bowl.
Actually, it kind of looks like French Onion Soup...but I wouldn't recommend eating it that way.
Adapted from Italian Made
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 oz anchovies, chopped
1/2 cup butter
- Saute the garlic and anchovies in the olive oil, stirring until the anchovies melt into the oil. Be sure not to have the heat too high, or the garlic will burn.
- Add the butter to the oil and mix. Add pepper to taste
- Serve hot with veggies or bread for people to dip.
I have also seen people add a small amount of cream at the very end, but to keep this a little lighter I opted to skip that step. Can I call it light when it has 1/2 a cup of butter in it? Anyway, overall it wasn't bad, although I did burn my garlic a little. But I would probably reserve it for a winter night if I were to make it again. At least in Maine that means I can probably try it again in about 2 months!
Ryan's rating of Bagna Cauda - 2. I guess that makes this my first flop...it was bound to happen at some point! And I still believe the hot weather hurt me a lot on this one.