Let’s explore this wonderful salad for a moment…
First gather some of the season’s heirloom tomatoes…big or small…red, yellow or orange…
Add in some endive and a nice handful of chickpeas for protein. Then top it off this wonderful thing called Bagna Cauda. This is one salad that will knock your socks off…Seriously!
So what is this Bagna Cauda?
Bagna Cauda, meaning ‘hot bath’ and pronounced bayn-ya code-a, originated in the Peidmont region of Italy and dates back to the 16th century. It is traditionally used as a dip and served somewhat like a fondue for raw, broiled or roasted vegetables. It can also be used to dip or top your freshly sliced bread. And let me tell you it was so good with this baguette! A sourdough, whole grain or artisan loaf would be heavenly too. For this recipe we will be using the Bagna Cauda as a warm dressing, an ever so wonderful dressing to top this salad filled with heirloom tomatoes, chickpeas and endive. Traditionally Bagna Cauda is made with anchovies, olive oil, butter and garlic. Here we are veganizing this dish and using the saltiness of olives and/or capers as a replacement for the anchovies and omitting the butter all together. I used kalamata olives as they are my favorite but you can use regular black olives as well, or your favorite olives. I also added the chickpeas into this salad as a way to add more protein to the dish. Everything paired together beautifully and I have really enjoyed this salad a few times since sharing it here!
Before we move to the recipe let me tell you that bagna cauda can also be made raw and served at room temperature. Combine the bagna cauda ingredients in a small bowl. Mash the olives and capers a bit to allow the juices to escape, let the mixture sit for an hour or two before serving. Serve as a dip or dressing with raw vegetables like fennel, zucchini, tomatoes, endive, arugula, radishes, carrots, cauliflower, celery and bell peppers to name a few. Delicious!
I hope you will enjoy this salad and Bagna Cauda as much as I did, garlic breath and all. Keep this dressing/dip in mind for other uses as it will pair well with most vegetables. It’s a simple and wonderful recipe…a true keeper! Now, bon appetit…
HEIRLOOM TOMATO & ENDIVE SALAD + OLIVE BAGNA CAUDA
- 2 medium heirloom tomatoes (any color), sliced into wedges
- 1/2 cup grape heirloom tomatoes, sliced in halve
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 2 -3 endive, sliced (arugula would be great too)
- lemon wedges, to serve
- chopped parsley, to serve (optional)
Olive Bagna Cauda
- 1/4 cup good olive oil, more as needed
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup black olives and/or capers (I used a mix), pitted and minced, or diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Prepare your salad ingredients and set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, add the garlic, black olives/capers and optional red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, for about 7 minutes. The garlic should soften and the flavors will permeate the oil nicely. Add in the lemon juice and gently cook for another 2-3 minutes. Taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat.
Arrange your salad on serving dishes and spoon the warm bagna cauda over top and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with a slice of your favorite artisan bread. Bagna cauda is delicious on bread!
Bagna cauda can also be made raw and served at room temperature. Combine the bagna cauda ingredients in a small bowl. Mash the olives and capers a bit to allow the juices to escape, let the mixture sit for an hour or two before serving. Serve as a dip or dressing with raw vegetables like fennel, zucchini, tomatoes, endive, arugula, radishes, carrots, cauliflower, celery and bell peppers to name a few.