Makes:2 to 3 servings
Bagna cauda, a Piedmontese dip of gently simmered anchovies and garlic in olive oil, began as a snack for hungry vineyard workers, traditionally served with raw, cooked, or roasted vegetables. Our version tosses roasted broccoli with the savory oil for an easy side dish with loads of flavor.
Heat the oven to 475°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place a baking sheet in the oven while it is heating.
Trim about 1 inch off the stem ends of the broccoli. Using a vegetable peeler, peel away the woody outer layer of the stalks. Halve the broccoli lengthwise through the stem and florets. Turn the pieces so that they are cut-side down, then cut them lengthwise through the stem and florets into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-wide pieces. Cut those pieces crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Place the broccoli in a large bowl and set it aside.
Place the oil in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until just warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add the anchovies and garlic, stir to combine, and cook until the garlic is softened but not browned and the anchovies are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the red pepper flakes; transfer the oil-anchovy mixture to a small heatproof bowl. Once the solids have settled to the bottom, tilt the bowl (being careful not to disturb the solids), remove 2 tablespoons of the oil, and drizzle it over the reserved broccoli. Set aside the remaining oil-anchovy mixture. Sprinkle the broccoli with the salt and pepper and toss until evenly coated.
Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and spread the broccoli in an even layer on it. Roast until the edges start to brown, about 10 minutes. Using a flat metal spatula, stir the broccoli, scraping it up from the pan, and spread it back into an even layer. Continue roasting until it is just tender when pierced with a knife, about 5 to 10 minutes more.
Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl, add the remaining oil-anchovy mixture (including the solids), and toss to combine. Serve with lemon wedges, if using.