Friday, May 19, 2017

Grilled Asparagus and Veggies with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing

Summer is on the horizon and it's already causing me to want to up my green veggie intake--but sometimes veggies can be a bit boring. That's when you fire up the grill pan and throw the ingredients for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Garlic and Anchovy Dressing into the blender. It works as a starter, or even a light meal on a humid night.

I made the dressing primarily to go with some asparagus, but tossed a small zucchini, some baby lettuce, and a few skewers of sweet little tomatoes onto the grill pan for some variety. Delicious with a glass of crisp white wine.

River Cottage says, "This punchy anchovy-based dressing – similar to the Italian classic bagna cauda – is a year-round favourite and easy to whip up from the sort of ingredients you’re likely to have in your store-cupboard and fridge. It’s a superb accompaniment to all kinds of veg – raw or cooked. We love it as a dip for crunchy summer crudités, but also serve it as a dressing for steamed purple sprouting broccoli, calabrese, cauliflower and kale. It will keep happily in a jar in the fridge for at leas"t a couple of weeks. It will probably separate, but can be re-emulsified by shaking or whisking."

Crudités with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing
From Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall via
(Serves 4)

50g (1.75 oz) anchovy fillets, drained
150ml (5 oz) olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled

leaves from a sprig of thyme
a few basil leaves (optional)
1/2 small red chilli, or a pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tsp Dijon or English mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar or wine vinegar

a few twists of black pepper

For the dressing, simply blitz all the ingredients together in a blender until completely smooth. Or, if you are using fresh chilli, you might prefer to chop it very finely by hand, then stir it into the blitzed dressing to give it a little texture.

Leave the dressing for half an hour or so, to allow the flavours to mingle and develop, then transfer to a large bowl.

Prepare the crudités: halve or quarter lengthways the lettuce hearts and larger baby vegetables, such as courgettes and carrots. Leave the smaller ones, such as pea pods and radishes, whole. Arrange them on a platter and serve with the dressing.

Notes/Results: Yum! If you like garlic, you will enjoy this dip. And if you are afraid of anchovies, don't be--they blend right in, just adding delicious Caesar salad dressing-like flavor to the dressing. Although it would be delicious with raw veggies, lightly grilled veggies are just so much more appealing. I just cooked them all on one grill pan, lightly brushed with olive oil until tender crisp on the zucchini and asparagus, lightly browned on the baby romaine, and until just softened on the baby tomatoes. If you want to make it more of a meal you could add some quartered hard-boiled eggs, steamed root vegetables, and/or chunks of poached fish and it would be perfectly delightful. Quick, easy and really good. I will happily make this again and use whatever veggies I have on hand.

It's maybe not the "pubbiest" of bar snacks, but I am linking this yummy starter that pairs well with wine up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is Pub Grub. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.

Happy Aloha Friday!


  1. We should grill veggies more often. Such a good taste off the grill instead of roasting . Not that I don't love roasted veggies too!

  2. Any pub that served that delicious combination would have me coming in on a regular basis. Have got to give it a try.

  3. I'd venture to say that this would be a hit at any pub and one that people would really dig into! I like your idea of serving it with chunks of fish too to help round it out. Anything with the flavor of caesar dressing is always a hit with me. Love the skewers of baby tomatoes!

  4. That is a lovely platter of grilled vegetables! An excellent choice for pub grub week!


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