With all of the hustle and bustle of the Thanksgiving holiday, I haven’t even had time to update all of you on our trip to Italy! We spent 8 wonderful days exploring this beautiful country, eating our way through every place we visited (Rome, Tuscany, Cinque Terre, and Florence), and finishing our trip with my brother’s magical wedding under the Tuscan sun(set).
As a dietitian and professional foodie, you can imagine how excited I was to explore the Italian food scene and to get my hands on some uber authentic extra virgin olive oil. It was so good over there, we could drink it! (And really, that’s what we did when we tasted it…in small doses, of course). I’ve been dreaming of different ways that I can use the olive oil that I brought home ever since we landed. That leads me to today’s post.
It wasn’t just the olive oil that was amazing in Italy. Everything we ate and drank, from the pasta to the pesto to the cappuccinos to the red wine, was incredible. And I can’t forget to mention their heavy hand when adding garlic to dishes. I never knew how many things you could put garlic in until this trip. It was a pleasant surprise!
I was also amazed at the food culture in Italy. The Italians have a wonderful slow dining scene and great appreciation for high quality ingredients. No wonder so many of the world’s best chefs come from Italy!
On our last night in Italy, we visited a “spaghetteria” in Rome that I went to several years before during a trip to Europe that I took with my friends in college. As you may have guessed, this restaurant is known for their spaghetti dishes, but little did I know that they also make the most delicious “bruschetta” by combining toasted bread with olive oil and roasted garlic.
You know that question, “if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Well, I think I have the answer. Roasted garlic and Italian olive oil. The end. Add some freshly baked bread for dipping, and WOW. I’m sold.
So here’s my attempt to recreate the delicious olive oil and roasted garlic combo I enjoyed in Italy into a “Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil.” I’ve added one of my favorite Mediterranean herbs, rosemary, for some extra Italian flair! It was the last of my balcony rosemary that I grew this summer…
Rosemary and garlic also happen to be anti-inflammatory powerhouses, and some of the best foods we can eat to stay healthy. Not to mention the ample healthy benefits that extra virgin olive oil provides. Delicious and healthy?! You’re welcome.
Remember to keep this one in mind for the holiday season! It’s so easy to bring along to a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare garlic bulb for roasting by slicing off the top and rubbing a drizzle of olive oil on top until it slightly steeps through the cracks. Wrap in aluminum foil, and bake for 30-35 minutes until tender.
- Open the foil to let the garlic cool before removing cloves and smashing them with a fork. In a small bowl, combine the smashed garlic, olive oil, and rosemary. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh bread, or drizzle on fresh tomatoes.
What’s your favorite way to use olive oil?