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La Bagna Cauda
This is one of those recipes where dried herbs are definitely preferred because they will hold up to the strong simmer that this dish commands.

Serves 4

2 cans anchovies (look for the small, oblong tins from Italy)
1 cup virgin, cold-pressed olive oil
5 to 6 fat, juicy cloves of garlic, minced
5 pinches of celery seed
1 tablespoon dry basil, crumbled
1 teaspoon oregano
5 or 6 grinds of fresh black pepper

For dipping, cut a good, hearty bread into slices and select a few of the following vegetables, cleaned and cut to a convenient size for dipping.

  · Carrots
  · Bell peppers, all colors
  · Celery, leaves on
  · Radishes
  · Fennel
  · Spinach or arugula, stems on

1. Put the anchovies, olive oil, garlic, celery seed, basil, oregano and pepper into a medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat. Taking care not to burn the garlic, simmer 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Mash the whole anchovies as you stir.

2. Transfer the sauce to a pre-warmed crockery bowl that can withstand the heat of a candle or Sterno canister underneath.

3. Arrange the cut vegetables and bread around the crockery bowl. Dip vegetables deep into the bowl to catch bits of anchovies and garlic. A slice of bread in the other hand is handy for catching drips!

— From chef Jacqueline Roberts of The Pink Door

Copyright © 2002 The Seattle Times Company

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