Easy Olive Oil Bread Dip

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This olive oil bread dip is one of my personal favorites. A simple bread dipping oil packed with flavors and can be made real quick. If you’ve got some bread (preferably crusty), this olive oil dip is the perfect pairing for it.

olive oil bread dip in a small white bowl placed on a white serving platter with crusty bread


 

One thing I love about a homemade bread dipping oil, you get that restaurant feel and quality in the comfort of your own home! While we’re talking about dips, you might want to check out some other delicious dip recipes like roasted garlic hummus, tirokafteri and ezme.

Recipe Highlights: Olive Oil Bread Dip

Cultural Influence: Mediterranean-inspired appetizer

Primary Cooking Technique: No-cook, mix and serve

Suitable for: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free if served with gluten-free bread

Dominant Flavor Profile: Herbaceous, tangy, and savory

Skill Level Required: Beginner-friendly


Why This Recipe Works

Bread dipping oil may seem like a modern trend, but it has deep roots in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Traditionally, olive oil is a staple in these regions, often paired with fresh bread as a simple yet delicious starter. The addition of herbs, spices, and other flavorful ingredients has evolved over time, creating countless variations that reflect local tastes and ingredients.

Part of the charm of bread oil is its visual appeal. The vibrant colors of fresh herbs, the glossy sheen of olive oil, and the rustic look of crusty bread make for stunning food photography.


Key Ingredients

bread dipping oil ingredients
  • Olive Oil: The base of the dip, providing a rich, smooth texture and heart-healthy fats. Use extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Garlic: Adds a robust, aromatic flavor. If you don’t like a strong raw garlic taste, lightly sauté the minced garlic before adding it to the dip.
  • Fresh Oregano: Brings a fragrant, earthy taste. Dried oregano can be used if fresh is not available—use half the amount.
  • Fresh Mint: Adds a refreshing, cool note. Chop finely to ensure even distribution.
  • Pepper Paste: Contributes a mild heat and depth of flavor. If unavailable, omit or use a bit more tomato paste.
  • Tomato Paste: Adds richness and a slight tang.
  • Kalamata Olives: Provide a salty, briny flavor. Ensure they are pitted and chopped finely for the best texture.
  • Salt and Pepper: Basic seasonings to enhance all the flavors.
  • Sumac: Offers a tangy, lemony taste.
  • Lemon Zest: Gives a bright, citrusy note without the acidity.
  • Fresh Parsley: Adds color and a fresh, slightly peppery flavor.

olive oil bread dip in a small white bowl placed on a white serving platter with crusty bread

Ingredient Spotlight: Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the star ingredient in this bread dipping oil recipe. Its rich, fruity flavor and smooth texture form the base that ties together all the other components, from the aromatic garlic and fresh herbs to the tangy pomegranate molasses.

EVOO not only enhances the taste but also contributes to the overall mouthfeel, making each bite of dipped bread a fancy restaurant-like experience.

Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil is Best

  • Flavor: Extra virgin olive oil is made from pure, cold-pressed olives, preserving its robust and complex flavor profile. This makes it ideal for dishes where the oil is a prominent ingredient, like our bread dipping oil.
  • Nutritional Benefits: EVOO retains more of the natural antioxidants and healthy fats found in olives, offering numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and heart health support.
  • Quality: Unlike regular or light olive oils, extra virgin olive oil undergoes minimal processing, ensuring higher quality and fewer impurities. This purity enhances both the taste and nutritional value of the dish.

Variations of Olive Oil

  • Virgin Olive Oil: Slightly lower in quality than EVOO, it still offers a good flavor but is less intense.
  • Pure Olive Oil: A blend of virgin and refined oils, it has a milder taste and is less suitable for recipes where olive oil is a primary flavor.
  • Light Olive Oil: This has a very mild flavor and is highly processed, making it less ideal for dipping but suitable for cooking at high temperatures.

EVOO Facts, Tips, and Hacks

  • Storage Tip: Store extra virgin olive oil in a cool, dark place to prevent it from becoming rancid. Exposure to light and heat can degrade its quality.
  • Taste Test: When buying EVOO, look for a peppery finish, which indicates a high level of polyphenols, the antioxidants that provide health benefits.
  • Regional Varieties: Olive oils from different regions have unique flavor profiles. Italian EVOO tends to be grassy and peppery, Spanish EVOO is often fruity and nutty, and Greek EVOO is robust and herbal. Experiment with different varieties to find your favorite.
  • Cooking Hack: To enhance the flavor of EVOO in your bread dipping oil, gently warm it before mixing with the other ingredients. This can help release the aromatic compounds and deepen the overall taste.
  • Pairing Tip: Pair your bread dipping oil with a variety of breads like ciabatta, focaccia, or even a simple baguette to complement the rich flavors of the EVOO.

olive oil bread dip in a small white bowl placed on a white serving platter with crusty bread

How to Make Olive Oil Bread Dip

Step 1

After preparing your ingredients, in a medium-sized bowl, pour in ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Then, add the minced garlic and give it a good stir to combine.

Add the 2 tablespoons each of fresh oregano and fresh mint to the bowl. Next, add 1 teaspoon each of pepper paste and tomato paste.

Stir in the chopped kalamata olives. Season with salt and black pepper. Then, add sumac for a tangy, lemony flavor.

After, add 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses to the mixture for a touch of sweetness and depth. Finally, add the lemon zest.

add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl

Step 2

Then, stir everything together until well combined. You can do this using a spoon, a fork or a small whisk.

stir ingredients

Final Step

Let the mixture sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and drizzle a bit more olive oil on top if desired. Serve with crusty bread of your choice.

olive oil bread dip final result

Serving Suggestions for Bread Dipping Oil

Types of Bread to Serve:

No-Knead Bread: This rustic, crusty bread is perfect for soaking up the rich flavors of the dip.

Simit: A Turkish sesame bagel-like bread, offering a chewy texture and nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with the dip.

Bazlama: A soft and fluffy Turkish flatbread, ideal for scooping up the dip.

Ciabatta: This Italian bread with its airy, open crumb structure and crisp crust is perfect for dipping.

Focaccia: With its herb-infused, slightly salty taste, focaccia is a fantastic choice to pair with the flavorful olive oil dip.

Other Ways to Use This Dipping Oil:

Salad Dressing: Drizzle over your favorite salads for an instant burst of Mediterranean flavor. Just add vinegar or lemon juice to complete the flavors.

Marinade: Use as a marinade for chicken, fish, or vegetables before grilling or roasting.

Pasta Sauce: Toss with cooked pasta for a quick and delicious sauce, adding a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top.

Roasted Vegetables: Drizzle over roasted vegetables like potatoes, carrots, or bell peppers before roasting for an extra layer of flavor.

Pizza Base: Spread on pizza dough before adding your toppings for a gourmet touch.

Sandwich Spread: Use as a spread on sandwiches or wraps to enhance the taste with its rich, aromatic flavors.

Cheese Board Dip: Serve alongside a variety of cheeses, cured meats, and fresh fruits for a delightful addition to your cheese board.


Recipe Notes

  • Infuse the Oil: For an even more flavorful dip, consider gently heating the olive oil with the minced garlic over low heat for a few minutes before mixing with the other ingredients. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Chilling Option: If you prefer a slightly thicker dip, refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Adjust Seasonings: Taste the dip before serving and adjust the salt, pepper, and lemon zest as needed to suit your taste preferences.

olive oil bread dip in a small white bowl placed on a white serving platter with crusty bread

Variations and Substitutes

Herb Variations:

  • Dried Herbs: If fresh herbs are unavailable, use dried oregano and mint. Reduce the amount to 1 tablespoon each, as dried herbs are more concentrated.
  • Basil: Substitute fresh oregano or mint with basil for a different aromatic profile.
  • Rosemary or Thyme: For a more robust flavor, try using rosemary or thyme.

Olive Variations:

  • Green Olives: Replace Kalamata olives with green olives for a milder, less briny taste.
  • Mixed Olives: Use a combination of different types of olives (e.g., Castelvetrano, black olives) for a complex flavor profile.

Flavor Enhancers:

  • Balsamic Vinegar: Add 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar for a touch of sweetness and acidity.
  • Chili Oil: For a spicy twist, add a few drops of chili oil.

Citrus Alternatives:

  • Lime Zest: Substitute lemon zest with lime zest for a tangier flavor.
  • Orange Zest: Use orange zest for a slightly sweeter, citrusy taste.

olive oil bread dip in a small white bowl placed on a white serving platter with crusty bread

How to Store Olive Oil Bread Dip

Refrigeration: Transfer the dip to an airtight container or jar with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Room Temperature: If kept at room temperature, consume the dip within a day to ensure optimal taste and freshness.

Olive Oil Layer: After each use, ensure the dip is covered with a thin layer of olive oil. This helps preserve its flavors and prevents it from drying out.

Avoid Freezing: Olive oil can solidify in the freezer, altering the texture of the dip. It’s best not to freeze the dip.

Bring to Room Temperature: Before serving, if refrigerated, allow the dip to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes. This enhances the flavors and makes it easier to dip with bread.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh herbs in this recipe?

Yes, you can substitute dried herbs for fresh ones, but use them in smaller quantities. Typically, you’d use about 1/3 to 1/2 of the amount of dried herbs compared to fresh.

How long can I store the olive oil bread dip in the refrigerator?

The dip can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Make sure to store it in an airtight container and cover the surface with a layer of olive oil after each use to maintain freshness.

Can I omit the pepper paste or substitute it with something else?

If you don’t have pepper paste, you can omit it or substitute with a small amount of tomato paste or harissa for added flavor.

What are some alternatives to serving this dip with bread?

Besides crusty bread, you can serve this dip with pita bread, focaccia, ciabatta, or even vegetable sticks like cucumber and carrot.


Other Recipes To Try


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bread dipping oil
5 from 5 votes

5-Minute Olive Oil Bread Dip

A quick and easy take on the viral Mediterranean-inspired bread dipping oil.
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 8
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Ingredients 

  • ½ cup Olive oil           
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp Fresh mint
  • 1 tsp Pepper paste
  • 1 tsp Tomato paste
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, chopped
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Sumac
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1 Lemon , Zest of

Instructions 

  • In a medium-sized bowl, pour in ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Then, add the minced garlic and give it a good stir to combine.
  • Add fresh oregano and fresh mint to the bowl. Next, add pepper paste and tomato paste.
  • Stir in the chopped kalamata olives. Season with salt, pepper and sumac.
  • Add in the pomegranate molasses and lemon zest. Then, stir everything together until well combined.
  • If time allows, the mixture sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and drizzle a bit more olive oil on top if desired. Serve with crusty bread of your choice.

Video

Notes

Infuse the Oil: For an even more flavorful dip, consider gently heating the olive oil with the minced garlic over low heat for a few minutes before mixing with the other ingredients. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
Chilling Option: If you prefer a slightly thicker dip, refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes before serving.
Adjust Seasonings: Taste the dip before serving and adjust the salt, pepper, and lemon zest as needed to suit your taste preferences.

Nutrition

Calories: 139kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 41mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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5 from 5 votes

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This dip is so good with freshly baked sourdough! I also tossed it with pasta for an easy and flavorful meal with some beans and spinach stirred in. So good!

  2. 5 stars
    The blend of herbs and spices with the rich olive oil created a perfect, savory dip that paired wonderfully with fresh, crusty bread. I’ll definitely be keeping this simple yet delicious recipe in my rotation for gatherings and cozy nights in!

  3. 5 stars
    This Easy Olive Oil Bread Dip is fantastic! It’s so simple to make and full of flavor. Perfect for dipping fresh bread. Thank you for the great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Great bread dip! I served it at our dinner party last night and they all loved it! Especially the mint – that’s a nice touch!