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Bagna Cauda

  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 to 10 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • Raw vegetables for dipping: celery sticks, red and/or yellow bell pepper strips, carrot sticks, fennel strips, radishes (halved or quartered, depending upon size)
  • Steamed vegetables for dipping: asparagus spears, artichokes (trimmed, chokes removed, leaves separated, heart sliced)
  • Cubes or slices country style bread, for dipping


  • In a saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and soft, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 3/4 cup oil and the butter and cook gently, stirring, to melt the butter. Add anchovies, lower the heat to low, and cook, stirring, until the anchovies dissolve, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne (keeping in mind that the anchovies are salty).
  • Decoratively arrange the vegetables on a large platter and season lightly with salt. Transfer the anchovy mixture to an earthenware pot, or fondue pot fitted with a flame underneath, and place in the middle of the vegetables. Keep the sauce hot over a small flame. Serve immediately with long handled forks for dipping the vegetables into the sauce.