Bounty and Bagna Cauda
My weekly trip to the organic farm stand. The mango above is one of the best I’ve ever had. Where is it from? Haiti! Who knew? Organic mangoes from Haiti. I had no idea that there are 10 million mango trees in Haiti. I usually am an advocate of eating locally. But I am also an advocate of supporting the small organic farmer. Oh, the dilemma! Go to the massive mega-supermarket and buy Florida grown mango, bland, fibrous and tastes like diluted bath water? Or beautiful, smooth, creamy, non-fibrous mango from a politically violent country, purchased from a family-owned organic farm stand. Jessica’s Organic Farm grows most of the vegetables they sell, in a huge field about 10 yards from the stand. What they don’t grow themselves they source from reputable organic farms.
The mango went into a mango salsa. Most of the vegetables went into last night dinner on a Raclette grill.The rest of it tonight – dipped in Bagna Cauda – full of garlic and anchovies. Bagna Cauda is an Italian appetizer, which means, “you ain’t gettin’ any nookie tonight.” Butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovies make up this “hot bath.” Fresh, raw vegetables and bread cubes are dipped into the warm, garlicky lava. This is my favorite way to eat raw vegetables. It makes me feel so incredibly healthy, except for the half cup of butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Oh, those are just the little details. Some versions include heavy cream, but I like it just like this. I also made The Perfect Loaf of French Bread to go with the bagna cauda.
Servings: 1/2 cup serves 4 as appetizer or a nice party dip
1 can anchovy fillets
3 garlic cloves chili flakes (optional)
Puree the anchovies and garlic cloves: or, just chop both really finely to make a paste.
Heat on low: In saucepan on low heat, add all ingredients. Keep the flame on low so that the butter/oil gets totally infused with the anchovy and garlic. Once the butter melts, just let it continue to sit on the low flame for another 5 minutes. Serve warm. If you use a fondue pot - double or triple the recipe. The little candle fondue bowl pictured above was purchased for $5 at Marshalls.
Vegetables & Stuff to Dip Assortment of raw, steamed or roasted vegetables. I used broccoli, french green beans, radishes (all raw). I also had fresh bread and a few sauteed shrimp. Other ideas include: baby carrots, steamed artichoke hearts, red bell pepper slices, asparagus, celery, zucchini, cauliflower, endive.