Zio’s Imitation Spice Mix – Spice Mix Series 1
You know when you go to those Italian restaurants and they set a plate of olive oil and spices in front of you and that fresh from the oven bread to dip into it? Sometimes they sprinkle in a bit of balsamic vinegar (See? I DO have a problem!) You tear into it like a starving person, gobbling up every drippy, savory bite, and feel
bad full by the time the entree arrives. But then, since you can’t finish your meal, leftovers for lunch! Yay! Or is that only me? Good, I’m not the only weirdo.
Despite having been to Rome and all over Italy and eaten real Italian food, I still like a few big chain restaurants. I know… I’m terrible. One I really like is Zio’s Italian Kitchen, if for nothing else but the dipping bread and oil alone. There’s just something so delicious about the rosemary rolls (which I’ve also duplicated) and that spiced oil. Did you know you can actually get a small bucket of it from them?? It’s something like $5 for a pound but it has to be kept in the fridge as it has parmesan cheese in it. Tired of spending so much and it going bad quickly if I didn’t use it every day, I decided to make my own.
If you’d like the exact taste of Zio’s, add a few shreds of parmesan to it when you serve. It can be sprinkled on pizza crust, into any pasta dish you’d like, or a way to marinade meats. So versatile! I keep mine in nifty little glass jars with a good seal but you can store it in a cool dry place in an airtight container.
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp dried rosemary crushed
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flake
- 2 tsp dried basil
- Mix dried spices together and keep in airtight container for up to 6 weeks. Add grated parmesan to taste if desired. To add to dipping oil, combine 4 tsp mix with a bit of water. Microwave on high for about 30sec. Drain excess water and transfer to plated oil.
TammyDecember 18, 2018 at 2:30 am
Why do you put the water in it and microwave it before adding to dipping oil? Please send answer to my question via my email address thank you
featherthumperFebruary 20, 2019 at 11:19 am
To help the spices soak up the oil a bit better. They tend to sink to the bottom of the oil and not cling to your bread.
Sheri ClementsJanuary 21, 2019 at 1:27 am
I made this, but there was something in it that tasted really bitter. Any ideas what?
featherthumperFebruary 20, 2019 at 11:17 am
Oh gosh, my messages never came up. Sorry about that. If you’re using old spices, there will be a bitter flavor, especially garlic.
TaylonJune 10, 2020 at 1:57 am
What type of oil works best or want any oil work?
featherthumperDecember 15, 2020 at 11:20 am
My site was having issues so sorry for the late reply. Olive oil is best but you can experiment with others. A more flavorful oil will bring out the complexity of the spices.