Raw cardoons are the classic partner for the anchovy-flavored dipping sauce known as Bagna Cauda. In this recipe, reduced cream takes the place of the traditional olive oil and creates an intensely rich, creamy result. Feel free to offer additional raw vegetables for dipping. Strips of red or green bell pepper, green beans, cherry tomatoes, or zucchini slices are all possibilities.
1 bunch cardoons
2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 flat anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Pinch of cayenne
1. Wash and trim the cardoons. Cut into 2-inch lengths and drop into cold acidulated water. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving time.
2. In a saucepan, boil the cream gently until it is reduced to 1 cup. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate pan and add the anchovies. Stir over medium heat until the anchovies disintegrate. Whisk in the garlic and the reduced cream. Stir in the cayenne. Place over an alcohol burner to keep warm. Drain the cardoons and pat dry. Serve immediately. If necessary, thin the sauce with additional cream.