Today’s recipe is inspired by the Guild of Food Writers Awards, which took place just over a week ago in London. I was judging, as I have done over the last 4 years, and as I have recently joined the Committee, I played my part in organising the event.
It was a brilliant evening, and you can find out the results here. One of the highlights was, for me, the catering, which was undertaken by Jane Baxter, who I think is one of the very best cooks in the country today. Usually, canapés leave me completely cold – I won’t touch them – but with Jane running the kitchen, I knew they’d be good.
The catering at the awards incorporates ingredients from the sponsors, with whom I had the pleasure of working this year. One of the simplest canapés was my very favourite; Tenderstem, grilled on the Big Green Egg, with a bagna cauda dip. It was sensational.
Armed with a pack of Tenderstem in my goodie bag, I set about recreating this at home. Now, bagna cauda is a traditional Italian dip, served hot, which is made from butter, olive oil and anchovies. It is sublime. Looking for a quick lunch, I came up with this, which is essentially steamed Tenderstem with a hot bagna cauda dressing. It is lighter and uses less butter than bagna cauda, yet retains much of the flavour. And best still; this makes a delicious lunch in under 10 minutes from start to finish.
- One pack of Tenderstem (around 250g)
- 25g butter
- 4 anchovies
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Some fresh thyme and parsley, to serve
- Blanch the Tenderstem in boiling water for 4 minutes and drain.
- Meanwhile, blitz the butter, anchovies and oil in the food processor to form a smooth paste. Transfer to a pan and warm gently.
- Pour the hot anchovy sauce over the drained broccoli, toss to coat each stem generously, and serve on a warm plate immediately, garnished with some thyme and parsley. Eat hot.