When I was still living in the Philippines, there was one Italian restaurant that I frequently visited with my family and friends. It's called Italianni's and they now have several branches all over Metro Manila as through the years they have become so popular. Can you guess what made them so well-loved?
You'd probably guess, their pasta dishes or perhaps their pizza or their Chicken Milanese and they're all certainly great but no....not these. Perhaps, nearly 20 years ago when they first came to Manila this was a novelty but everyone that ate in their restaurant raved about their amazing Italian bread and the very tasty dipping sauce that went with it. What's more, it was an unlimited appetizer so you can imagine we really didn't shy away from ordering a basket or 2 more! It was so good that we didn't care that we were already so stuffed and may not eat much of the main dishes that we ordered. Oh, the good old days!
So....inspired with these delicious memories I decided to replicate their amazing dipping oil. I still need to work on their Italian bread but this will do for now. You can certainly tweak the taste to your liking by adjusting the measurement to your preference, not adding any spicy kick or playing with a mix of herbs. But certainly do not omit the balsamic vinegar as the combo of good quality EVOO and excellent balsamic vinegar truly makes this dip so deliciously good. My kids loved this and ate all the bread that I served with this. Also, it is even yummier with the parmesan cheese so I highly recommend serving this dip with it. Hope you enjoy this!
I updated this recipe so it's quicker and even easier to make. As always, let this measurement and ingredients serve as a guide to help you build your own version. Don't forget the cheese!!!
Italian Bread Dipping (Oil) SauceBy: Manila Spoon
April 5, 2016
Restaurant-style sauce with Italian herbs and balsamic vinegar perfect for dipping your favorite crusty bread. Mix it up with your favorite herbs and add a spicy kick to create your own flavor blend. - Italian Bread Dipping Oil (Sauce)
- A pinch of dried or fresh Basil, or more to taste (for each bowl)
- A pinch of dried or fresh Oregano, or more to taste (for each bowl)
- A pinch of red chili flakes (optional)
- 3 Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed, divided (OPTIONAL)
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin (good quality) Olive Oil, divided
- 3 (up to 6) Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar, divided (adjust to taste)
- Parmesan Cheese, to taste
- Divide the olive oil into 3 parts in individual, small and shallow dipping bowls. Add about 1-2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar into each bowl. 2 tablespoons vinegar is right up my alley but feel free to adjust the amount to taste. Add the crushed garlic (1 per bowl), if using. If you're not a fan of garlic, feel free to leave it out. I love garlic so I added it but it's not required. Place a pinch or 2 of the herbs of your choice and the chili flakes (if you like a little spicy kick). For extra flavor, use freshly chopped herbs. Stir.
- Generously sprinkle with grated or shredded parmesan cheese on top. Serve with freshly warmed crusty bread!
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 0 Minutes
Total Time: 5 Minutes