“This punchy anchovy-based dressing — similar to the Italian classic bagna cauda — is a year-round favorite of mine and easy to whip up from the sort of ingredients you’re likely to have in your pantry and fridge,” writes Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in “River Cottage Every Day” (Ten Speed Press, $32.50), a cookbook devoted to eating good food prepared from fresh, seasonal ingredients.
“It’s a superb accompaniment to all kinds of vegetables — raw or cooked,” he says. “I love it as a dip for crummy summer crudités, but I also serve it as a dressing for steamed broccoli, cauliflower and kale. it will keep happily in a jar in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks. It will probably separate, but can be re-emulsified by shaking or whisking.”
It would never last in my refrigerator long enough to separate.
Crudités with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing
2 anchovy fillets, drained
2/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Leaves from a sprig of thyme
A few fresh basil leaves (optional)
1/2 small red chile or a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Dijon or English mustard
2 teaspoons cider vinegar or wine vinegar
A few grindings of black pepper
A selection of raw baby vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, beets, lettuce hearts, radishes, fresh young peas in pods and tender celery hearts
For the dressing: simply blend anchovies, oil, garlic, thyme, basil, if using, red pepper, mustard, vinegar and black pepper together in a blender until completely smooth. or, if you are using fresh chile, you might prefer to chip it finely by hand, then stir it into the blended dressing to give it a little texture.
Let the dressing stand for half an hour or so to allow the flavors to mingle and develop, then transfer to a bowl.
Prepare the crudités: Halve or quarter lengthwise the lettuce hearts and larger baby vegetables, such as zucchini and carrots. Leave the smaller ones, such as pea pods and radishes, whole.Arrage them on a platter and serve with the dressing.
Makes 4 servings.