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Anchoïade with Radishes, Fennel, Celery and Carrots

Anchoïade, a thickened sauce of anchovies, olive oil and garlic, is a traditional Provençal spread for toasts or dipping sauce for raw vegetables. When used as a dip, it is similar to the Italian bagna cauda, which is served hot. For dipping in both anchoïade and bagna cauda, a variety of raw vegetables are used, from common carrots, radishes, fennel and celery to more unusual black radishes and Jerusalem artichokes. Boiled beets and potatoes are sometimes included as well.

Ingredients:

For the anchoïade:

  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. anchovy fillets, preferably olive oil packed
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed and then minced

  • 1 bunch red radishes, trimmed
  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut lengthwise into slices 1/4 inch thick and 1/2 inch wide
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into pieces 3 inches long and 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks 3 inches long and 1/2 inch thick

Directions:

To make the anchoïade, in a small fry pan over low heat, warm the 2/3 cup olive oil. Add the anchovies and garlic and cook, mashing the anchovies until they dissolve into the oil to make a paste, about 3 minutes. Gradually stir in enough of the remaining oil to give the sauce the consistency of a thick vinaigrette. Alternatively, mash the garlic and anchovies together in a mortar with a pestle or process in a mini food processor to make a paste, then slowly add the olive oil to achieve the proper consistency. Transfer to a small bowl.

Arrange the radishes, fennel, celery and carrots in a serving bowl or on a platter. Serve accompanied with the anchoïade. Serves 8.

Serving Tip: Offer a couple of crusty baguettes or some bread sticks along with the vegetables.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Salad, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2001).