Weekend Cook 7: Bagna Cauda Serves four. Total time: 15 minutes

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The Independent Culture
I AM always bemused at the cultural differences that exist in the eating of crudites. Being squeamish about unrecognisable bits of offal and chickens' feet is understandable, but less so is why as a nation we should turn our nose up at raw cardoons and artichokes, which the Italians delight in.

There again, most things taste nice dipped into bagna cauda, that warm, buttery anchovy slurry. Choose from young carrots, radishes, fennel, celery hearts, artichokes (pull off and dip a leaf at a time), red peppers, button mushrooms and anything else that takes your fancy, including cardoons. To follow, you can scramble the remains of the sauce with some eggs and eat it on crisp brown toast.

100ml/31/2 fl oz white

wine

4 garlic cloves, peeled

Salt

75g/3oz unsalted butter

75g/3oz salted anchovy

fillets

8 tbsp extra-virgin olive

oil

3 tbsp double cream

Heat the wine in a small saucepan and cook until it is well-reduced and syrupy. Either crush the garlic or chop it, then sprinkle over a little salt and work to a coarse paste using the flat edge of a large knife. Melt the butter with the garlic over a very gentle heat and once the garlic has almost melted into it, add the anchovies and mash them up as much as possible. Add the oil and continue heating (the sauce at this point will be separated).

Add the cream to the bagna cauda and whisk until it amalgamates. Then gradually whisk it into the reduced wine, to make a smooth, creamy, beige sauce. Ideally serve the sauce in a bowl straightaway, although it can be gently reheated and whisked until it is smooth - it shouldn't boil.

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