I love the flavor of bagna cauda with bitter vegetables, but some of my favorite bitter greens are dandelion greens and they don’t work well for dipping in hot oil. Besides being a perfect level of bitter, dandelion greens are purported to greatly encourage liver health, so it makes sense to eat them raw, at least sometimes.
This is how I make the hot olive oil, garlic, anchovy dipping sauce of Piemonte, bagna cauda, into a cool dressing for raw leafy greens.
Cover the bottom of a small pan with crushed raw garlic cloves, pour olive oil in to generously cover, add 1 fillet of white anchovy to equal half the total number of garlic cloves, plus 1 fillet. Set it on the lowest possible flame. The ideal is steady but minimal bubbling. When I have trouble maintaining this level, I will set the small saucepan in a large sauté pan to help dissipate some of the heat. Let this simmer for 1 hour. Then remove from the heat, and steep at room temperature for at least 4 hours (if it will be longer then 12 hours before the next step, refrigerate but let it come up to room temperature before using).
When it is time to dress, puree the mixture evenly with an immersion blender, and drizzle on the washed greens. Finish with a scattering of dry grating cheese. Parmigiano is fine, I like a dry, grating goat cheese Coach Farms makes, but that may be because I usually buy my dandelion greens at the Union Square Green Market on Saturdays, and that’s when they are there.