Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Carrabba's 'Knock-Off' Bread Dipper

The Bookworm Family is in full prep mode for our quick vacation next week in Florida to visit my parents. When my Dad asked what I wanted to do (besides warm up from this cold weather, read poolside and dip my feet in the ocean) my first response was ... eat at Carrabba's!

Carrabba's has quickly become one of my necessary stops when we annually visit my 'Snowbird' parents at their Florida condo.  It's a small chain restaurant that serves up amazing Italian food and has impeccable service t'boot. It's so good that after 11 months I'm still thinking of the Mahi Wulfe fish dish that I adored and decadent desserts that we enjoyed -- they even had safe desserts for Boy 1 and his peanut allergy.  Such a great experience all around.

Another thing that Carrabba's is known for is their bread and oil dipper.  'Tis truly delish and a great way of starting off any meal for this carb loving family.   I adore soaking up said bread in oil infused with all manner of spices and herbs.

My love of bread dippers knows no country boundaries so off I went into the internet to find a copy cat recipe so I can enjoy my dipper even when I'm not in Florida.  Really easy to whip up and very impressive.

You can bet that I'll be sitting in a booth at Carrabba's early next week with the biggest decision being whether to order their amazing Mahi Wulfe again or try another one of their amazing dishes.  Decisions, decisions, decisions. 

1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped finely
1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

juice from 1/2 of a small lemon
olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
French bread slices

Just before you're ready to serve.  Combine all of the spices and garlic into a small bowl.  Mix well.  Add lemon juice.  

Put a couple teaspoons of the spice mixture onto a small plate.  Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of oil over the spice mixture.   Serve with fresh French bread slices and dip away!

Tip: You could try making this with all dried herbs if you wanted to make this mixture ahead of time or to keep in your cupboard for bread dipping emergencies.  Personally, I adore the flavour of the fresh herbs.  If you do go for all dried herbs, obviously make sure you decrease the basil amount and leave out the fresh garlic, lemon juice and oil until you're ready to serve.

Source: Inspired by (

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