Years ago we grabbed a bottle of Dipping Oil at one of our favorite bakeries. It was delightful: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, spices. We only went to the bakery 2-3 times a year, but when we went, we’d get a bottle if they had it. But, this bottle of oil cost about 2-3 times what a loaf of bread cost. $10-12. Eventually we decided it was a nice luxury, but too expensive to buy unless we had company.

With getting into cooking so much this past year, I now find myself saying "that tastes good, how do I make it?" I used to say it out loud, but that got awkward, so now I just say it to myself. We’d gotten a lovely loaf of crusty olive bread last month, and I thought "hey, this would taste so much better with that dipping oil!" So, I made some. It was so easy, and tasted so good, I nearly kicked myself for not having just done that the first time we’d tried the "gourmet dipping oil". It doesn’t cost much to make, and isn’t difficult at all. But, like all the things I’ve tried, the challenge is "where do I start?"

You can/will alter the flavor a lot depending on the type of olive oil and vinegar you use. That’s OK, and is actually desirable! The key to this dip is to experiment. You might want more garlic, more onion, more heat. Try it with fresh garlic, different types of dried peppers, etc. Of course, this also goes for most all the recipes I make. I only have a few that I want to taste exactly the same each time.

Difficulty: Trivial

Prep time: 3 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Balsamic Vinegar
  • 4 oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp ground dried hot peppers (grind yourself with a mortar and pestle or food processor/blender)
  • pinch of oregano
  • pinch of thyme
  • a few more pinches of earthy, aromatic spices.

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small resealable glass container (I like to use old balsamic vinegar bottles!)
  • Shake well to blend
  • Let sit for at least 4 hours for flavors to blend
  • Pour a little dip in a small bowl or on a plate
  • Dip some fresh crusty bread into sauce, and Enjoy!
  • Dipping Oil will taste fresh for a month or more unrefrigerated, in a sealed bottle