Rustica Dipping Sauce

I love making this quick and easy dipping sauce as an appetizer, side dish, snack or even a simple meal along with some crusty bread. It tastes and smells so bucolic. I imagine eating it within some quaint, stoned-wall piazza with a glass of wine and some sweet Italian melody playing lightly on the breeze. Okay, I need a vacation.

It takes just a few simple ingredients:

  • about 1/4 cup high quality olive oil (I keep one bottle of olive oil on my counter for cooking, and another, more quality olive oil in my pantry reserved just for dipping sauces and drizzling it over other dishes)
  • about 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp red or white onion, minced
  • a sprig of fresh rosemary
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • a pinch of red chili flakes

These quantities are approximate so just do what feels right to you. Pour the olive oil into a dipping dish and then pour the balsamic over it. In a small pan, saute the garlic and onion in a little olive oil until tender. Break the rosemary needles off the sprig and using your fingers, break them a little into the pan to help them emit their aroma and flavor. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and red chili flakes and stir the whole mixture together well.

Turn off the heat and pour the mixture over the olive oil and balsamic. Serve with some yummy bread and enjoy!

Happy eating!