When I eat Italian food, one thing I always love to have is a loaf of fresh bread and some crushed herbs with olive oil for a dipping sauce. Well, really, I could just eat that for my dinner. Something about the blend of all those spices mixed with a good extra virgin olive oil really makes my heart sing!
I use this same blend of herbs when I make flat bread pizzas at home. I love to cover the top of the crust with some olive oil, these herbs, mozzarella or goat cheese and plum tomatoes. Mmmmm! It doesn’t get much better than that.
I am making one of my favorite homemade Italian pasta dishes tonight for dinner along with this herb/olive oil mix and bread and thought this would be a good recipe to share with you. It is so easy to throw together and includes most of the spices you probably already have in your pantry. You can use dried spices or fresh, whatever you have on hand. If you use dried, you can make this up ahead of time and store it in an airtight container until your ready to use it.
If you have a mortar and pestle, this is a perfect time to get those out. Or, if your like me and you don’t own those, you can get creative and use what you’ve got on hand. I have one of those Pampered Chef ice cream scoops and I use the back end of that to smash my herbs together. I also use it to muddle herbs for cocktails! It’s a great 3-in-1 tool…if you’re a bit of a redneck like me!
When you mince up your fresh garlic, you will want to take a paper towel and press the garlic to dry it out a little. It helps it not be so sticky and clump up the dried mixture.
**This recipe is gluten free
**This recipe is vegetarian
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (if you like yours with a kick, you can add a little more)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground sea salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon (or 1 clove) fresh minced garlic
- high quality extra virgin olive oil
Add all ingredients into a shallow dish and crush/mix together until well blended.
If you are using this to dip bread in, you will want to use a small shallow dish. I have a set of these cute little dishes that are used exclusively for this purpose. Add some of the herb mixture to the dish like this. You will want to use about 1-2 teaspoons per serving.
Then drizzle in some olive oil and use a flat whisk or a fork to blend the mixture into the oil. I never measure the olive oil, I just pour it on until it looks like enough to evenly distribute the herbs. In a small dish like this I would say a little less than 1/4 cup.