Heirloom tomato bagna cauda

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 8
Here’s looking at you’s heirloom tomato, bagna cauda, lap cheong, creme fraiche, fines herbes
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
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In a heavy-bottom saucepan, cook the olive oil, garlic and butter over moderate heat, whisking frequently, until the garlic just starts to color, about 7 minutes. Add the anchovies and cook, whisking, until the garlic is golden, 5 to 7 minutes more. Transfer the bagna cauda to a heatproof medium bowl and cool slightly. Whisk in the crushed red pepper and set aside until the bagna cauda is completely cooled, stirring occasionally. Season with ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste.


Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the sausages until finely ground.


In a large skillet, combine the ground sausage with the water and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the water evaporates and the sausage is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the canola oil and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until the sausage bits are browned and crisp, about 7 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crispy sausage to paper towels to drain.


In a small bowl, mix the chives with the parsley, dill and mint. In a medium bowl, whisk the Kewpie mayo with the crème fraîche, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the mixed herbs. Season the herbed dressing with ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste.


Spread the herbed dressing in 8 very shallow bowls or on a platter. Arrange the tomatoes on top. Spoon some of the bagna cauda over the tomatoes, then sprinkle with the crispy sausage, remaining mixed herbs and fleur de sel. Serve right away.

Adapted from a recipe by Chef Jonathan Whitener at Here’s Looking at You. Chinese sausage and Kewpie mayonnaise are available at Asian markets.