There are variations to Italian dipping oils
Dear Lisa: Thank you for the coffee can/bag ice cream idea. Bet it saves me buying a maker — I will always have cans, bags, and ingredients on hand. Have you any idea how to make a bread dipping sauce/oil like that served at Johnny Carino’s? — Barbara May
Dear Barbara: Many Italian restaurants are now serving a flavored olive oil sauce to dip bread into as an appetizer. There are so many variations for flavored olive oils, I am including three different recipes. You can easily vary the recipes to suit your taste by changing the herbs, adding freshly ground Parmesan or Romano cheese, etc. Be sure to use a high-quality olive oil for the best flavor.
Serve the oil in a bowl with good, crusty bread, and let everyone help themselves! Do not keep these mixtures for longer than 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator, as fresh garlic can make the mixture unsafe.
Italian Bread Dipping Sauce
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped dried oregano
One to two minced fresh garlic cloves (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground coarse black pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together and let sit to allow the flavors to meld for at least an hour or two before serving. Serve in a shallow bowl with crusty Italian bread cut into thick slices.
Carrabba’s Restaurant Dipping Oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (Italian is best)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Combine all the spices in a shallow bowl and pour olive oil over spices.
Flavored dipping oil
This recipe is my favorite. It makes enough spice mix for about 8 separate dishes of dipping oil. You can leave out the fresh garlic until serving time to lengthen the storage time of the spices.
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon garlic-minced
1 teaspoon salt
Grind together and put 1 tablespoon of mixture on plate. Pour extra virgin olive oil over and mix together. Serve with warm French baguette bread to dip in the mixture.