A Nice Hot Bath

Bagna cauda, the classic Piedmontese "hot bath" of olive oil, anchovies, and garlic, meant to anoint various crunchy vegetables.

vegetables
Bagna caudaMark Ferri

I've never been a great fan of crudites—that predictable assortment of raw, often flavorless florets of cauliflower and broccoli, limp sticks of carrots and celery, and slices of bell pepper, inevitably dunked into some heavy dip that I always suspect is based on dried soup. Researching our cardoon story (see The Noble Thistle, though, we rediscovered bagna cauda, the classic Piedmontese "hot bath" of olive oil, anchovies, and garlic, meant to anoint such vegetables as fennel, baby artichokes, endive, radicchio, and, of course, cardoons (raw in Italy, cooked in America, because ours are too bitter to eat raw). Crudites refined, we realized.