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If you asked me to write a love letter to two of my favorite summer vegetables, it'd include lines like green beans, with your slender limbs and radishes, you circular beauties. These two are made for hot nights and long days, crunchy and vibrant. They don't ask for any cooking to bring out their good nature, especially welcome on nights where you throw everything in a bowl, maybe make a little pasta, and be done with it. The radishes bring unassuming, peppery goodness to the table while beans offer a sweetness that's hard to find elsewhere, all while still raw.
Can you tell I love the two?
So, when I came across Amanda's Buttermilk Bagna Cauda, I knew exactly what I wanted to toss it with: Green beans and radishes atop summery greens. The former add a snappy crunch, while the latter lend their spicy bite. It's the kind of salad that's texturally, as well as taste-wise, satisfying and intriguing—and a crisp friend to balance hearty pasta, like ravioli.
As for the dressing, Buttermilk Bagna Cauda is what happens when vinaigrette quits playing around with timid flavors. The warm garlic-and-anchovy sauce is pungent, in the best way possible. The buttermilk slightly tames the anchovy with its sourness and the thyme adds a subtle herbaceous note. As Amanda notes in the recipe, "I won't say it's tangy, and I can't promise creamy, but you will get something subtly different, something you'll want to immediately plunge a blanched green bean or tiny carrot into."The warm, buttery dressing wilts the lettuce ever-so-slightly, leaving the leaves' crunch intact. It's also not a bad idea to serve extra bagna cauda on the side for drizzling and dipping. And when we say not a bad idea we mean, of course, actually brilliant.
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 anchovy fillets
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pinch salt, more if needed
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- Fresh and lightly blanched vegetables, like asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, Romanesco broccoli, small carrots, etc., at room temperature
What's your favorite raw summer vegetable side? Tell us in the comment below!
Balance Your Plate is all about showing you how to create delicious, wholesome meals—ones that complement frozen prepared foods with fresh ingredients. For more tips on how to Balance Your Plate, check out nestleusa.com/nutrition/balance.