Herbed Dipping Oil

What’s better than warm crusty bread?  Warm crusty bread that’s served with a warm herbed dipping oil!  I could make a meal out of this.

During the work week I really look forward to dinner.  It’s the only meal of the day I can truly relax and enjoy.  Breakfast is often a yogurt at my desk or a smoothie on the run.  Lunch is always spent at my desk grading papers, speaking with students or colleagues, and answering emails.  Often I will only have time for an apple and peanut butter.  So I enjoy a nice meal that tastes like I spent all day planning and cooking it. The freezer is a big help here but often it’s the little things that jazz up a meal, like the sides or salads.  One thing that turns a quick spaghetti and meatball dinner (sauce and meatballs from the freezer) is a warm loaf of crusty French bread served with this dipping oil.  My husband and I are usually sneakily dragging the tray closer until the other one drags it back.

The great thing about this recipe is that it is easy, yet tastes like quite a bit of preparation went into it.  When I serve it, my husband is usually very appreciative so shhh… don’t tell him how easy it is.  I love that it uses dried herbs for two reasons,  I don’t always have fresh herbs on hand and I certainly don’t have the time to chop fresh herbs.  You can actually mix up a big batch of the herbs to have on hand which makes this even easier.  Good olive oil is crucial to a great tasting dip otherwise it will end up tasting bitter.

Herbed Dipping Oil

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp crushed red pepper or less if you prefer less spicy

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp minced fresh garlic

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Mix the spices together and then add the oil.  I like to shake it in a jar to mix the herbs really well.  You can just put the spices on a shallow plate and add the oil.  You can adjust this to taste.  You can also add more olive oil if you prefer it a bit thinner.  Sometimes I will add a splash of balsamic.

Occasionally I will heat it in the microwave for a few seconds.

Serve with warm chunks of bread or breadsticks.

People will think you fussed when you didn’t.  But remember it’s our secret.


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