Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One Quarter Dipping Sauce

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This is my very favorite way to use olive oil. It's easy, healthy, and addictively tasty. This version has a little heat from the garlic and red and black peppers; but it's a simple matter to adjust for your own tastes. The following recipe makes a small quantity because I'm the only one who eats it at my house; but you can scale up or down both the spices and the oil. Letting the spices steep longer in the oil before use will also strengthen the flavor. Here's how I do it.

One Quarter Dipping Sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Real Salt)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon rosemary (I used dried today, but you can also steep a twig of fresh for a bit and then remove)
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
chopped fresh basil to taste
chopped fresh garlic to taste

Combine the dry spices in a bowl. Ordinarily, I would use a sprig of fresh rosemary and not add it until the oil was mixed in. But because I used dried rosemary today, I added it with the other dried ingredients.

Next, add in your chopped basil and garlic and toss the ingredients together. This will get the salt working on the garlic and basil. 

Add in the olive oil and stir well to combine. You can use it right away, of course, but the flavors meld together nicely if it sits a little while before using.

If you are participating in the 28-Day Real Food Challenge over at Nourished Kitchen, this dipping sauce goes great with the sourdough bread you can make from your new starter! Enjoy!

This post is my entry in Nourishing Kitchen's Olive Oil Clean Your Plate Challenge and is also my entry for Real Food Wednesdays hosted this week by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.


  1. I've never tried making an olive oil dipping sauce - this looks wonderful! I'm a couple days behind on the sourdough - my starter kit just arrived yesterday, so it's chugging along in a cabinet :) Can't wait to try this dip!

  2. Shelly, It really is so, so good. The only problem is that it is so, so good. After I made that batch I ate the whole thing that night.

  3. LOVE your inclusion in the Clean Your Plate Challenge here. It looks so vibrant. All those flavors? YUM!

  4. Jenny, thanks so much! This recipe is one of my very favorite things, but I really do eat it all!

  5. I note you are using the very expensive freshpack basil. You can easily grow basil indoors in a sunny spot all winter long. Start them from seed (I typically start 3-4 at a time) and once they get 1-2" tall, move them into a bigger pot in the sun. Nothing better than fresh basil in Feb for FREE.

    I think I'll make some of your yummy sauce with some of my fresh basil tonight.


  6. Birgit, Last year I potted up some basil from the garden and brought that in for the winter. But at some point I ended up with some tiny flies, which caused me not to do that this past fall. But perhaps if I started the basil inside, like you suggest, I might avoid the little flies. Thanks for the suggestion!

  7. Alexia_lustra, Thanks so much! I'm glad you like it. :)