Photo by Andrew Seah

Nothing quite perks the senses like the scent of raw garlic hitting bubbling hot oil. Be it sliced, minced or roughly chopped, garlic is a culinary wonder on its own—so why not let it stand tall and proud as the centrepiece for a garlic lover’s dinner party? Bagna Cauda—a traditional Italian dip—literally translates to “hot bath” and we can think of no better way to send off this humble kitchen staple: in a pool of fragrant, thyme-scented gloriousness. It’s fuss-free and requires little effort, save for a customary stir towards the end. And quite frankly, making new friends never seemed this easy.

Easy

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 cup garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter, diced
3 anchovies (optional)
Couple sprigs of thyme

Directions:

1. Place the garlic cloves, olive oil, butter, anchovies and thyme sprigs in an even layer in a pot and place over a medium heat.

Photo by Andrew Seah

Photo by Andrew Seah

If you’re squeamish about anchovies, substitute with salt instead. But be forewarned: the anchovies impart a full-bodied savoriness that can’t quite be replicated with salt.

Photo by Andrew Seah

Photo by Andrew Seah

2. Once the garlic starts to sizzle, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cook the garlic low and slow until it becomes meltingly tender. You should be able to prick it with a fork and it should break apart with little resistance—just like soft butter.

Photo by Andrew Seah

Photo by Andrew Seah

3. Transfer to a serving dish, arm yourself with a crusty loaf and dive in.

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