On the Line: James D'Aquila of the Wild Artichoke, Part Three
Photo by Laila Derakhshanian

On the Line: James D'Aquila of the Wild Artichoke, Part Three

A dish with its own introduction? Sounds very personable, just like the Wild Artichoke's James D'Aquila. If the bagna cauda's origins, the recommended way to enjoy it and the wine pairing don't convince you, maybe it's time to drive to Yorba Linda to try it yourself. To view the first and second parts of our interview, click here and here.

Bagna Cauda of Artichokes, Shrimp, Mussels and Green Olives
The dish, which is served and consumed in a manner similar to fondue, is made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil and, in some parts of Italy, cream. (In the past, walnut or hazelnut oil would have been used.) The dish is eaten from the clay pot, enjoying all the goodness that is simmered together with just the right spice. It is also enjoyed with hot slices of pita bread, to soak up the oil and flavorings after all the shrimp, etc. is gone. Try pairing it with a dry white wine! This is a fun dish!


8 pieces of white shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 black mussels
2 fresh baby artichokes, blanched, trimmed and quartered
8 green Castellvetrano olives
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon shallots, chopped
1 tablespoon anchovies, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For plating:

1 fondue pot or Bagna Cauda
1 tea light for heating
Fondue forks
1 underliner plate
3 pieces of warm pita bread
Fresh herb garnish


Heat a large sauté pan. Pour in olive oil.
Add shallots, garlic, anchovies and crushed red pepper.
Let simmer for a minute, so everything melts and blends.
Add the mussels. When they begin to open, add the shrimp, artichokes and green olives.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When your shrimp is fully cooked and the mussels have fully opened and are tender, pour the complete sauté into the bagna cauda and serve.

Light the tea light so the dish stays hot until you're done.
Enjoy with your wine and, of course, the lucky person eating with you!

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