Apr 5, 2016

Italian Bread Dipping (Oil) Sauce

Restaurant-style sauce with olive oil, 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.

Restaurant-style sauce with olive oil, 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. | manilaspoon.com

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?


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) | manilaspoon.com


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!


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) | manilaspoon.com


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!!!

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Italian Bread Dipping (Oil) Sauce




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) | manilaspoon.com

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)


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Generously sprinkle with grated or shredded parmesan cheese on top. Serve with freshly warmed crusty bread! 
Yield: 3 servings in small Dipping Bowls
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 0 Minutes
Total Time: 5 Minutes



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) | manilaspoon.com

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26 comments

  1. Yum! I am loving all the herbs in that dipping sauce. I would happily just eat that with bread and not even have a main meal haha.

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    1. Yup, I will do exactly the same Dannii!

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  2. O this brings back memories! Warm buttery bread in quality Italian spiced olive oil....a BIG thing in my Italian family!

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  3. I used to work at Bertuccis and their dipping oil was LEGIT. I still remember the recipe, too. This looks just as good, if not better :)

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  4. it's absolutely keeper recipe. pinning it!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this, Abby--it's been a while since I saw dipping oil like this at a restaurant, and I miss it!

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    1. Now you can make it at home, Jill. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. This was always my favorite part of going to Italian restaurants as a kid. I would fill up on bread and dipping oil. Then I would make my parents mad by ordering spaghetti and not eating it because I was stuffed!

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    1. Hahaha. I can relate to that Jennifer! :)

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  7. I want a whole loaf of bread to myself to dip in this oil!

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  8. great bread and great dipping oil like this is the best, thank you xoxo

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  9. I love making herbed oil...No gathering is complete without this on the cheese and appetizer board. Sounds wonderful. xoxo, Catherine

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  10. years ago ( a lot of years ago ) the thought of dipping bread in oil and eating it disgusted me , now after curiosity got the better of me I truly enjoy it so for the uninitiated give it a try you will be pleasantly surprised

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  11. In the picture, what's that in the middle of the bowl? Is it a chunk of butter? It wasn't in the recipe so I'm wondering. I want to make it just like in the picture so my family will think I'm a master chef.

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  12. What's that in the middle of the bowl in the picture? A chunk of butter? It's not in the recipe and I want to make it like in the picture so my family will think I'm a master chef.

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    1. I think you are referring to the garlic. It's on the recipe above. Please enjoy, James!

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  13. Does this recipe keep? As in, can I make it ahead and leave it in the fridge for the flavors to really marry (like a day or two)?

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    1. If you wish you can make the vinegar and olive oil combo ahead. You may just add the herbs and garlic later especially if you plan to use fresh herbs as that would add more flavor, too.

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  14. I tried this with Italian bread before it was so good. Thank you for the recipe.glennadams911@yahoo.com

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  15. Beautiful pictures Abby! Love bread with olive oil, but never had it with herbs :)

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  16. Love this! Even when my husband and I just go to Olive Garden, we special order minced garlic with olive oil and fresh grated parmesan for dipping! Have to try asking them to add some herbs next time.

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    1. I can totally relate with you as we often ask the waiter for the ingredients too especially the balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese and then make our own mix. For me the balsamic brings this dip to another level of yumminess! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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