In case you didn’t know (and why should you, I didn’t until I came across the recipe) Bagna Cauda is a pungent garlic and anchovy dip which is a great accompaniment to raw vegetables and crusty bread. There are many subtle variations on the recipe and as this one comes from Heston Blumenthal, it is as you’d expect, at the slightly more involved and faffy end of the spectrum. That said, it is still very easy to make.

Bagna Cauda

Bullingdon Bertie: Warning, DO NOT click on this link and read the fawning comments about our Great Leader.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20ish minutes
Skill level: very easy
Serves: 4


  • garlic cloves – peeled and cut in half – 130g (about 3 bulbs’ worth)
  • semi-skimmed milk – 800ml
  • breadcrumbs – 15g
  • anchovy fillets in extra virgin olive oil – 50g (small tin)
  • extra virgin olive oil – 75ml
  • water – 2 tbsp
  • lemon juice – 4 tsp

Peel and halve the garlic cloves (a little tedious, but not too bad)

Put the garlic in a small pan and cover with 100ml milk.

Bring slowly to a simmer, then pour into a sieve and rinse the garlic under cold running water. Discard the milk.

Return the garlic to the pan and repeat this process three more times (this is the faff I was referring to in the introduction).

Return the garlic to the (cleaned) pan and add the remaining 400ml of milk.

Bagna Cauda

Bring to a simmer and cook until the garlic is very soft and the milk has reduced slightly (about 10–12 minutes), taking care not to let it boil over.

Remove from the heat and pour into a jug.

Blitz until smooth, with a hand blender or food processor, then add the breadcrumbs, water and anchovy fillets and blitz again until smooth.

While blitzing, slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice, then pass the mixture through a fine sieve.

Refrigerate until required.

Serve with a good toasted bread, olives and/or crudités

Going out to vote

The yumbloggers set out to vote. Despite appearances, only one of us is pregnant.

Verdict: Smooth, garlicy (obviously) and delicious. A lot of taste for very little effort.

Drink: A Sunday afternoon of lager

Entertainment: Started our recently purchased ‘Royle Family’ box set.

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