Have you ever been to an Italian restaurant, where they serve you this warm, fresh bread while you wait for your food? Some of them serve the bread with just butter (fresh from the refrigerator – so you couldn’t possibly smear it… perhaps they were just trying to help you to be calorie conscious… who knows… or just poor prior planning on the waiter or whoever is in charge of the butter… not that I always remember to take the butter out either… Hey.. I’m rambling on here… sorry! Let me put a period on this sentence pronto!). And some restaurants serve bread with this oil that has stuff floating in it. Have you ever had this oil stuff? I first had mine when I was in Chicago, in a restaurant called Vespucci. It was a business trip, and usually we got gruesome hours while we were out of town. So we got this perk from the office that we got to spend a lot of money for lunch or dinner. So usually my boss liked to take us to nice restaurants and eat a good meal at the end of the day.
At first I wasn’t sure if I even want to eat my bread with that oil stuff. I mean.. you want me to eat oil? Straight oil with stuff in it? I didn’t mind eating oil in the form of whatever oil absorbed in cooked food. Little did I know back then. Yes, I was this nice, sweet, innocent little girl… and now… well, let’s say I am not that nice or sweet or innocent anymore. I’m rambling again… I’m supposed to be talking about food and not about my personality… Pardon me… I promise I won’t stray again from the subject. So, after several nudges from my coworker that I had to try it, I then reluctantly dipped a small piece of my bread into that stuff. I dreaded it when I put the bread into my mouth… and as I chewed on the bread… the taste exploded in my mouth! The garlicky flavor of the oil, the burst of the herbs just stunned me. Once I finished chewing, I didn’t hesitant in tearing my bread and dipping that second piece into the oil. I kept eating until the waiter brought us our dinner. That was my first experience with the bread dipping oil. Since then, it was always sitting there in the corner, in the back of my mind.
I don’t quite remember when I was experimenting with bread dipping oil. I think it was after I made the Rosemary Focaccia… I just pulled out whatever dried herbs I had, minced some garlic, and it was pretty good. So I just want to share this experiment with you, if you come across with a boring, plain, white bread, or a day old bread, spike it up with this dipping oil. Of course, the easiest would be buying a ready mix and just pour your olive oil on it. But, in a pinch, this is the easiest thing you can do at home.
So I used olive oil, thyme, tarragon, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and roasted garlic. This was that roasted garlic I cooked when I had that Roasted Fruits and Vegetables. On another occasion, I just used fresh minced garlic, but since I had this left over roasted garlic, why not?
I squeezed the roasted garlic out of its husks.
Sprinkled all of the stuff on the same plate…
Poured the olive oil on them…
And I used a fork to mush the roasted garlic, as well as combining the herbs together…
And in no time I just made Bread Dipping Oil.
Tore off a chunk of bread, and smeared this Dipping Oil into the bread… and it was delicious. It perked up the boring plain bread. The roasted garlic is a lot milder than the fresh garlic.
And, now Count Dracula will not be even think about approaching near you. If you have a loved one, then insist that they eat the same thing you eat, and no one will be conscious that you just have eaten garlic, since they would be smelling it on themselves! :D So, what do you think? You can easily put whatever herbs or seasoning on the oil, and just use the ones you like! If you have left overs, I guess you can also use the oil as seasoning to make croutons! There is no limit as to what you can experiment with in the kitchen. You will be surprised with yourself. So, experiment away! Ciao!
Print recipe here.
Bread Dipping Oil
Fresh minced garlic or roasted garlic
Any dry herbs you prefer
Red Pepper Flakes
Mix all ingredients and serve with bread.