An easy and simple dipping oil infused with roasted garlic and herbs. A perfect light appetizer!
It’s not uncommon to go to an Italian restaurant and be served fresh bread with a plate of dipping oil in lieu of a traditional bread basket. While I’ll never turn down bread, I didn’t become fully enamored with dipping oil until I had it at a local winery quite a few years ago. It was better than any dipping oil I’d had before, and I must not have been the only person who thought so because it turned out that they actually sold bottles of the stuff! My husband and I were there with another couple and all we all bought bottles of the dipping oil to bring home. We blew through it in no time and for some reason, it never dawned on me to MAKE MY OWN. Why?!?!
Fast forward what seems like a gazillion years, and my grandma emailed me a recipe for dipping oil that she said she and my grandpap loved. It was all the motivation I needed!
The original recipe that she sent called for peeling the garlic and cooking it uncovered at a lower temperature, which basically infuses the olive oil, but renders the garlic useless once it is done since it dries out. I preferred to basically do a traditional roasted garlic with the dried herbs so that I could mash it up and use it in the dipping oil.
All you need is a loaf of crusty Italian bread and you have a great appetizer (or a TV-watching snack!).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the top off of the head of garlic, just exposing the top of the garlic.
Place the garlic, thyme and rosemary in a small, shallow baking dish and drizzle the olive oil over the garlic and into the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven, uncover and let cool until you are able to handle the garlic. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the peel and discard the peels. Mash the garlic with a fork and whisk it into the olive oil-herb mixture. Serve with Italian bread. (Leftover oil can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Bring to room temperature before serving.)