Thursday

August 17th, 2017

The Kosher Gourmet

Bread and butter? Not so fast. These easy, no-cooking-required dipping sauces become the center of the table and a wonderful beginning to any repast (2 recipes)

Diane Rossen Worthington

By Diane Rossen Worthington

Published April 20, 2017

Bread and butter? Not so fast. These easy, no-cooking-required dipping sauces become the center of the table and a wonderful beginning to any repast (2 recipes)
We've come a long way from simple packaged breads that you can pick up at the supermarket. Here in Los Angeles, bread bakeries are springing up across the city. Each has their own spin on crusty, chewy baguettes as well as many other varieties. But these toothsome loaves need a fresh accompaniment idea.


Bread and butter? Not so fast. Creative olive oil combinations have taken the place of butter as an accompaniment for bread. I prefer the fruity flavor of olive oil with bread. Even more delicious are blending different flavors together. These sauces become the center of the table and are a wonderful beginning to any Mediterranean-inspired repast. A glass of chilled rose or chardonnay would be a refreshing pairing.


As the weather heats up, you'll appreciate how easy these are to prepare -- no cooking required. I like to serve these sauces in small glass bowls with a spoon for people to help themselves. Make sure to have an assorted bread basket with a French baguette, sourdough and Focaccia along with bread plates.


These versatile sauces are also a wonderful glaze on grilled chicken, fish or vegetables, or they can be used as a simple sauce to pasta or a quick dressing to drizzle on your favorite greens. Look for Meyer lemon-flavored olive oil: It offers a slightly sweet yet tart flavor. If you can't find it, add a bit of lemon juice and zest to the oil and go from there. Make sure to select a quality, robust extra-virgin olive oil.

OLIVE OIL DIPPING SAUCES

Serves 4 to 6

Lemon, Olive and Dried Cherry Sauce

  • 1/2 cup lemon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar

  • 2 garlic cloves, ends removes and sliced into very thin slivers

  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves

  • 2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives

  • 2 tablespoons chopped dried cherries

  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Put all of the ingredients in a small glass bowl; mix to combine.

2. Cover and let rest for at least 4 hours so that the flavors have time to meld.

3. Serve with a spoon, or pour into small plates for serving with bread.

Advance Preparation: This can be made up to one week ahead, covered in an airtight container and kept at room temperature

Anchovy, Sun-Dried Tomato and Tapenade Sauce

  • 1/2 cup fruity olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons chopped anchovies, (I prefer white anchovies if you can find them)

  • 2 tablespoons green or black store-bought Tapenade

  • 2 tablespoons chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

  • 1/4 to 1teaspoon hot sauce or spicy chile paste, to taste

1. Put all of the ingredients in small glass bowl; mix to combine.

2. Cover and let rest for at least 4 hours so that the flavors have time to meld.

3. Serve with a spoon, or pour into small plates for serving with bread.

Advance preparation: This can be made up to one week ahead, covered in an airtight container and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before serving.

Note: You can find white anchovies at gourmet specialty stores in the refrigerated section. They have a sweeter, milder flavor than regular canned anchovies.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Holidays," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.

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