Sometimes when I have a few extra dollars, I’ll treat myself and go out to eat. I love Italian food, and the olive oil bread dip is my favorite. It’s also really easy to make!
Making Your Own Olive Oil Bread Dip
A good bread dipping sauce consists of two parts – the oil and the herbs.
Choosing a Good Olive Oil
Normally, the base for a delicious dipping oil is olive oil. With this in mind, use the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find. It should be fragrant, fruity, and hearty. Additionally, the color should be dark green to greenish yellow. Beware of imported olive oils that may be impure and adulterated with other ingredients, thus resulting in compromised flavor. (To avoid this, Matt and Betsy use and recommend domestic olive oils from small family farms in California, such as this one.)
Using the Best Herbs
In addition to finding a great oil, you’ll need to procure some good herbs. Typical herbs are rosemary, basil, oregano, garlic, and similar herbs. Using fresh herbs gives you the freshest taste, but you can substitute dried herbs in a pinch.
Olive Oil Bread Dip Recipe
Here’s a basic recipe. As always, feel free to make any changes to suit your taste.
- 1 teaspoon fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, flat leaf is best
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt (I use Himalayan Pink Salt)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper (find organic black peppercorns here)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dry white wine
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Instead of chopping herbs separately, chop them all together on a cutting board. Chopping them together will help to mingle the flavors together.
When everything is very fine, add the pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper, mixing well.
To use right away, place on a saucer and pour the lemon juice and wine over the top, stirring well. Lastly, top with olive oil and serve with a really good Italian bread.
Note: If you’re going to keep it for a while before serving, cover and keep in the refrigerator. Add the lemon juice and wine just before serving with olive oil.
Just about any herbs can be used for this recipe. Many people also like to add thyme, which adds a different flavor. I’ve tried mine with several different types of basil including Dark Opal Basil, African Blue Basil, Holy Basil, Thai Basil, and Pesto Basil (which is variegated with cream and green leaves). Each one has a slightly different flavor. My favorite is still the plain sweet basil, which is also the most common.
Have you made a dipping sauce for bread? Let us know what your favorite herbs are!