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.