The first time I’ve ever had bread and oil as part of a meal was back in North Carolina, about 7 years ago. Scott and I had just purchased our first house and we were out having a celebratory lunch. The server brought out a basket of warm bread and a little dish that she poured seasoned olive oil into, then quickly scurried away.
Me: What do we do with this? Do I just dip the bread into the oil?
Scott: I think so. I’m not sure what other options there would be.
Me: Okay. Although dipping bread into oil and eating it is a little odd.
Scott: Totally weird.
The concept was so foreign to me. “You want me to what?! Dip this bread into some fat and munch away?”, was my thought process.
But you know what? It was fabulous. And of course olive oil is full of good heart healthy fats, so it all worked out! From that point on I started looking more at flavored olive oils and olive oils labeled as “dipping oil”. And you know what I found?
That stuff is flipping expensive! Most were over $10 for a very small bottle of flavored oil.
Um, no. I’m not spending that much unless it’s also going to wash the dishes when I’m done eating.
At this point I realized that I could make my own. I like having oils and vinegars multi-task at the HQ. Because of that I don’t flavor a whole bottle of oil. I do a quicker trick that is just as tasty and beautiful!
I pour a good quality olive oil onto a small plate. An oil that I would also use in salads specifically for the flavor. Then I sprinkle in some seasonings, whatever floats my boat that day. Typically they are:
- Garlic powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Italian Seasoning (salt free, Ms. Dash is the best in my opinion)
- Chili powder or a pinch of cayenne for extra heat
- Fresh ground black pepper
All of those to taste. I’m usually more heavy on the garlic and red pepper flakes. Give it a quick stir and surround the oil with your favorite type of bread. It’s unbelievably tasty and a very quick appetizer to put together. Since oil can be stored at room temperature, you can make this ahead of time for guests and the flavors will just mingle and increase the longer it sits.
Try making your own olive oil dipping sauce for bread! It’s quicker, cheaper, and darn tastier!