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May 18, 2016

The Perfect Summer Side Dish

Photos by Megan Tomino

Megan Tomino of Cookspace Hawaii, which hosts cooking classes in their Ward Village kitchen, walks us through one of her favorite dishes, roasted Ma'o root vegetables smothered in bagna cauda. A classic dish tracing its roots back to Northern Italy, this recipe is filling, flavorful, and healthy and is sure to be a crowd favorite the next time you're cooking for your family or friends.

What makes this dish so special to you?

It's so simple, but it's also so delicious. And if you're trying to feed a large crowd at a barbecue or family dinner and don't want to slave in the kitchen for hours on end, you really can't beat roasted root vegetables with bagna cauda. This recipe packs a lot of flavor and pairs well with steak or barbecued chicken.

Where did the recipe come from?

A chef named Grant Cotner out of San Francisco actually taught it to us at one of our classes at Cookspace. We all went nuts for it because it was so simple, healthy, and tasty. It's definitely become a go-to recipe for me.

Can you tell me about the sauce? That seems to be the element that elevates the whole dish.

The sauce is what really makes this dish special. The roasted vegetables are delicious in their own right, but it's the bagna cauda that takes it over the edge. It's a Northern Italian classic and once you taste it, you'll see what all the fuss it about. The recipe includes a small amount of anchovies, oil, garlic, and herbs, which can be varied on the seasons, so you can sub in rosemary or sage if you like and have some fun with it. Some people don't like anchovies, but I promise the flavor isn't overpowering at all. If you're really pressed for time, you can also make the sauce ahead. And if you have any left over, you can practically put it on anything and it'll be delicious. I love dipping warm crusty bread in it.

And the vegetables. Can those be varied as well?

Of course. I love using local produce whenever possible from Ma'o Farms, but mix it up as you like. You'll basically be using a rough chop to cut the vegetables so they roast evenly in the oven, then giving them a healthy dose of salt and pepper and olive oil before you roast them. Once they're finished cooking, you dress them in the bagna cauda sauce and you're done. I also like to add some fresh arugula at the end, right before I serve it. When it comes to feeding a large party, this very well may be the perfect side dish.

Ma'o Root Vegetables and Bagna Cauda
Recipe by Chef Grant Cotner


  • 1 turnip, halved
  • 1 radish, halved
  • 3 baby beets, thinly shaved
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 anchovies
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ bunch parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp capers, chopped
  • ½ bunch sage, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


First, preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For the bagna cauda, heat 2/3 of the olive oil up slightly in a small sauce pot and add in garlic, cooking slow and low until it becomes tender and all raw flavor is cooked out. Be careful not to brown the garlic. Once the garlic is cooked and tender, add in the anchovies and cook until they begin to dissolve. Then add in the capers and herbs and remove from heat.

For the vegetables, in a large bowl toss the turnips and radish with the remaining oil, season with salt and pepper and spread evenly on a baking tray. Cook until the veggies begin to caramelize on the outside and become tender, about 25 minutes. Note that a little bit of bite is okay, but if you prefer, feel free to cook them longer for a softer end product. Remove from the oven and place in desired serving dish. Give a generous drizzle of the bagna cauda to the vegetables. Garnish with the shaved beets and squeeze of the fresh lemon juice. Add some ruby streaks or nice baby arugula for a spicy finish.

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This is not intended to be an offer to sell in any jurisdiction where prohibited by law. Ward Village is a proposed master planned development in Honolulu, Hawaii that does not yet exist. Exclusive Project Broker Ward Village Properties, LLC. Copyright 2019. Equal Housing Opportunity. Exclusive Project Broker for Ke Kilohana - Locations LLC. Copyright 2019. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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