In the last few years, we’ve developed a tradition of a weekly Friday pizza night with family friends. Parents get to drink wine and let off some steam, and the kids get pizza, a movie and a late night that sometimes ends in a dance party. No one’s place needs to be perfectly clean.
Some of us adults are bread lovers who enjoy a good pizza crust and some of us tend to leave our crusts by the wayside. At some point, John started whipping up a little garlicky, slightly spicy dip for the crusts. Soon, John’s "Dippin’ Sauce” became a part of the tradition too.
It makes use of one of our current favorite spices: Goat Horn Chile Flakes. This smoked chile hails from the country of Chile, where it is the key ingredient in a popular blend called Merkén. Goat Horn is hot, smoky and savory -- perfect for adding heat with flavor.
All of us eagerly dip our crusts in this sauce, but it also makes an easy, delicious appetizer as a dip paired with sliced baguette or focaccia.
Olive Oil and Balsamic Bread Dip with Goat Horn Chile (aka John’s Dippin’ Sauce)
2 garlic cloves1 teaspoon flake salt¼ cup olive oil2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated1 teaspoon Goat Horn Chile FlakesFreshly ground black pepper
First, make garlic paste. If you haven’t done this before, The Kitchn has a nice how-to. Mince the garlic, then use your knife to gather the garlic into a little pile. Sprinkle with some of the flake salt. Holding the blunt side of the knife, press and scrape the sharp end against the pile of garlic at an angle. Keep working the garlic into a pile, adding salt and pressing and scraping until you have a smooth paste. Whisk together the garlic paste with the remaining ingredients. The dip can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Serve at room temperature with baguette or focaccia or as a dip for pizza crust.
Tangy: Substitute Sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar for part or all of the balsamic vinegar.
Herbaceous: Add a ½ teaspoon dried Mediterranean Oregano or French Thyme.
Mild: Substitute Smoked Spanish Paprika for the Goat Horn Chile Flakes.
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