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Dipping Oil Recipe (Infused with Herbs and Spices)

This dipping oil is dressed up with crushed spices for texture, lemon and herbs for flavor and decoration, and a mix of alliums and pepper for a spicy kick.

For fans of dipping bread into oil and vinegar, here’s a slightly showier option. All you need are some aromatics and oil. Yes, it’s a simple combination, but one of oil’s greatest traits is that it carries flavor. When it’s warmed with other ingredients, it will grow those ingredients’ wingspans, infusing the oil with layers of deep flavor.

A Choose-Your-Own Adventure Dipping Oil

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s extremely customizable. You can make it with just a few ingredients or load it up with a mix of spices, herbs, and other zesty stuff. Crushed spices add texture, lemon peel and whole sprigs of hard-stemmed herbs add color and flavor (although obviously should be avoided when eating), and a mix of alliums and chiles adds some bite. When you’re making the oil, the key is to not let the oil get too hot, so nothing gets bitter. If you start to see bubbles, just turn off the heat and let the mixture infuse from the residual heat. Dip into the oil with crusty or soft bread, then switch up the aromatics for your next batch (because there will likely be another batch).

How to Serve This Dipping Oil

The oil and pile of bread makes a great appetizer or cocktail-hour snack. You can strain the oil into a bowl before serving or you can leave the goodies in the oil for a pretty look and also to give your guests a little flavor preview. I’m also fond of serving the oil straight from the small cast iron skillet I make it in. It looks great on the table and means one fewer dish to wash.

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