Bread dipping oils are one of the most indulgent appetiser foods, IMHO, and they might just outshine any other meal course you serve alongside it. Easy to whip up on a short notice, a dipping oil can be savoured with crusty and soft breads like French or Italian bread, baguettes, crusty sourdough, focaccia and ciabatta for a full (and life-changing) culinary experience.
As a professional homebody, my idea of a perfect night involves a massive loaf of homemade bread, a delectable garlic-infused dipping oil and a good show to watch on TV while cuddling with my dog. Throw in a glass of wine and you’re pretty much making all my dreams come true.
As a bonus, leftover dipping oil is basically fodder for a quick garlic bread recipe or a base for frying eggs in. The possibilities are endless with this extra-virgin olive oil goodness.
Here are some easy bread dipping oil recipes that’ll have your dinner party guests begging for more, and anointing you as the king/queen of appetisers...
The One With All The Herbs
This garlic and herb-ilicious bread dipping oil is a love language for sure, and all you need to do is throw together a few flavourful ingredients with a mild extra virgin olive oil, and you’re good to go. It’s no wonder that this recipe by home cook and columnist Seiran (@legallyplantbased) garnered millions of views on Instagram.
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp sumac or lemon zest
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (adjust as per taste)
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1-2 minced garlic cloves
15-20 pitted olives, finely chopped (optional)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (adjust as per taste)
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1) Pour olive oil into a shallow bowl, or a small plate, and throw all the flavourful herbs together in it.
2) Mix everything together and dip your bread in this glistening elixir of life.
The One With The Decadence
The next dipping oil is the definition of decadence and one can’t just stop at a slice or two of bread if its companion is this intricately flavoured oil. Measure the ingredients with your soul for this one.
Finely chopped basil (you could also add chopped parsley and chives)
Seasonings of choice (mixed herbs and chilli flakes)
Salt & black pepper
Finely chopped walnuts (add hazelnuts or pistachios if you like)
Finely grated parmesan
Extra optional ingredients
Lemon or orange zest
Fresh thyme or rosemary
1) Pour the olive oil or truffle oil in a flat, shallow bowl and mix in all the ingredients one at a time.
2) Mix well and serve with fresh, crusty bread.
The One That Goes With Soup
This dipping oil goes perfectly with French Breads like baguettes, or dinner rolls and garlic bread. The oil-soaked bread is even good to be eaten with a hearty winter soup for a burst of flavours.
Extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter
1) Mix all the flavouring agents to a small cup of olive oil and stir well.
2) Heat up this mixture together to fully melt the butter and infuse some of the fresh herb-y essence into it.
3) Pour in a dipping bowl and let it all marinate for about 30 minutes, and you’re all set!
The One With No Frills
The good ol’ olive oil plus balsamic vinegar combo is a classic for a reason. A staple pre-lunch and dinner snack served in every little cafe, bar or restaurant in Italy, this easy two-ingredient dipping oil is a slice of Italian culture and cuisine you can incorporate in your life to amp up any meal in an instant (even when *not* in Rome).
1) Mix generous amounts of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a plate and swirl it together.
2) Toast the bread of your choice for a couple of minutes before drenching it in this delicious dip.