Skewered Mozzarella-Bagna Càuda

Bagna Càuda literally translates from Italian into hot bath. The bath is traditionally made by heating mashed garlic, anchovies, olive oil and butter until well dissolved. Bagna Càuda is a *Piedmontese peasant staple and is often served as a dip for raw vegetables. We recently made a Grilled Caesar Salad and served these skewers as a crouton so to speak on the side of each salad. It was a big hit! These are very addictive, make sure you serve them hot to warm as an appetizer, bread course or as compliment your favorite meal.

Bagna-Cauda-finished

*Piedmonte is one of the twenty regions in Italy, borders Switzerland and France and is the capital of Turin.

Skewers

From each branch, remove most of the rosemary leaves, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches of 1 end covered in leaves. Place a bread slice on the work surface, and put a piece of mozzarella on it, followed by a fresh bay leaf, optional. Repeat 1 more time, ending with a slice of bread. You should have a stack that has 3 slices of bread and 2 slices of cheese.

Continue with the remaining ingredients, to make 4-6 stacks total. (If you can’t find large rosemary branches, substitute wooden skewers. Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for 20 minutes. As you’re assembling, put a few sprigs of fresh rosemary throughout.) Using the leafless end of a rosemary sprig, skewer 1 of the stacks through the center, leaving the rosemary leaves exposed on the other end. Turn the stack on its side and, entering from the opposite end, insert another rosemary sprig, leaving the leaves sticking out of the other end. Brush the entire skewer lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle it with a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue in the same manner with the remaining stacks.

Bagna Càuda

Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the garlic and anchovies into a smooth paste.

Transfer the paste to a small saucepan. Add the butter and olive oil and bring to a simmer over low heat. Continue simmering for about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt, to taste.

Bake or Grill

To grill: Place the skewers on the hottest part of a charcoal or gas grill and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turning frequently, until the cheese just begins to soften and the bread begins to brown.

To bake: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the skewers on a baking sheet and cook about 5 minutes.

Carefully transfer the skewers to a plate and drizzle with a generous amount of the bagna cauda. Scatter with parsley leaves, optional. Serve as an appetizer or instead of bread or on the side of a salad such as a Caesar.

 

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Skewered Mozzarella-Bagna Càuda

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 48 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
Scale

Ingredients

Skewers

  • 1/2 lemon zested into long strands
  • 8 (6-inch) straight branches fresh rosemary, or several sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 french baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 to 4 large balls) fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • Fresh bay leaves, optional
  • Olive oil, for brushing skewers
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 20 fresh Italian parsley leaves, optional

Bagna Càuda

  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 (3-inch long) salt-packed anchovies, rinsed well, backbones removed, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon) anchovies packed in oil may be substituted
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

Skewers

  1. From each branch, remove most of the rosemary leaves, leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inches of 1 end covered in leaves. Place a bread slice on the work surface, and put a piece of mozzarella on it, followed by a fresh bay leaf, optional. Repeat 1 more time, ending with a slice of bread. You should have a stack that has 3 slices of bread and 2 slices of cheese.
  2. Continue with the remaining ingredients, to make 4-6 stacks total. (If you can’t find large rosemary branches, substitute wooden skewers. Soak the wooden skewers in cold water for 20 minutes. As you’re assembling, put a few sprigs of fresh rosemary throughout.) Using the leafless end of a rosemary sprig, skewer 1 of the stacks through the center, leaving the rosemary leaves exposed on the other end. Turn the stack on its side and, entering from the opposite end, insert another rosemary sprig, leaving the leaves sticking out of the other end. Brush the entire skewer lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle it with a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue in the same manner with the remaining stacks.

Bagna Càuda

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, pulverize the garlic and anchovies into a smooth paste.
  2. Transfer the paste to a small saucepan. Add the butter and olive oil and bring to a simmer over low heat. Continue simmering for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt, to taste.

Bake or Grill

  1. To grill: Place the skewers on the hottest part of a charcoal or gas grill and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, turning frequently, until the cheese just begins to soften and the bread begins to brown.
  2. To bake: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the skewers on a baking sheet and cook about 5 minutes.
  3. Carefully transfer the skewers to a plate and drizzle with a generous amount of the bagna cauda. Scatter with parsley leaves, optional. Serve as an appetizer or instead of bread or on the side of a salad such as a Caesar.

Notes

Adapted From | Mario Batali

Coming soon!