Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sicilian Butter

My Venture into Garlic

Of all of the recipes in my arsenal, this dipping oil is THE thing my mother requests most often. She likes it with an entire HEAD of garlic (about 15 cloves). Trust me – that's enough garlic to curl your toenails. I prefer to add half that amount. Even then, it's still too garlicky for some people. Warning: This recipe is for true garlic lovers only. Expect your taste buds to be fully stimulated.

My inspiration for this delicious concoction comes from a restaurant I used to frequent called Garozzo's. This recipe is my attempt to recreate their wonderful dipping oil. I could eat an entire loaf of bread when dipping it into this garlicious oil. The name implies that it has butter in it. It doesn't. I'm not sure why they named it Sicilian Butter. Frankly, I don't care. The only thing I know is that it's GOOD.

I have served this recipe at MANY dinner parties. People react three different ways when eating it: 1) they absolutely love it, 2) they like it but want me to add more garlic, or 3) they take a bite, their eyes bug out, and they start coughing – like they just took a swig of moonshine straight from the bottle. It's unapologetically intense. Oh, and it's fattening, too. Really fattening. What makes matters worse is that, once you've started eating it, YOU CANNOT STOP! It is so addictive!

Give your taste buds a workout and try this recipe. Enjoy – and happy fighting vampires!

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Sicilian Butter
(Printable Version)

8 cloves garlic (about 1/2 of a head) or to taste, minced
1 1/4 cups high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil

2 to 3 pinches of salt
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 pinches red chili flakes (optional)
2 tsp chopped, fresh basil

THIS IS GARLICKY! Despite the name, it contains no butter. I prefer to whisk all of the ingredients together (except for the basil) and let the mixture sit on the counter in a covered bowl for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to meld. Right before serving, I add the chopped basil. Serve the Sicilian Butter in shallow serving plates with Italian bread, focaccia, or French Bread. You can easily halve or double the recipe as needed.

Note Regarding Olive Oils: If you do not normally use olive oil, you may not appreciate the bitter/herbal characteristics of some extra virgin olive oils. I like first-pressed olive oils the best but, for some people, they are an acquired taste. If you're unaccustomed to using olive oil, I recommend you use a light olive oil the first time. Light, in this context, means "lightly flavored" as opposed to "low in calories." If you plan on using an olive oil that you've never tasted before, please be sure to taste the oil before making this recipe. If you hate the taste of the oil straight from the bottle, the rest of the ingredients will not make up for that.

Note Regarding Garlic: This recipe is intended to be very garlicky. My mother prefers an entire HEAD of garlic in it (about 15 cloves or so). That much garlic could curl your toenails. Eight cloves is still VERY garlicky. Feel free to use less. You can always add more later. Another option would be to measure out the 1 1/4 cups of olive oil and then pour a tablespoon of that oil into a small skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Don't let the skillet get too hot. Add the garlic to the skillet and gently, gently cook it for about 30 seconds – no more. Add the cooked garlic back into the olive oil you measured out earlier. This short cooking time will significantly reduced the harsh flavor of the garlic. In my family, this technique would be heresy.


  1. Hello Blog Buddies!
    Due to a known problem with the blogging software I use on this website, you may get an error when you attempt to post a comment. If you try to leave a comment and get an error, simply click the "Post Comment" button again. It should work after clicking the "Post Comment" button one or two additional times.

  2. Repeat after me: There is NO SUCH THING as too much garlic.

  3. I cannot wait to try this! Time to break out my French bread recipe and waste away the afternoon! :)

  4. The reason they refer to it as Scilian Butter is just a marketing term that's been around since the 70's. We have this all the time and we had a pinch of red pepper flakes for a kick.

    It's all good yes?

  5. I love the word garlicious!

    I can't wait to eat this soon!

  6. Brilliant... bring on the garlic!!!

  7. One of our local restaurants here serve something similar but they use dry roasted garlic pieces in the oil... I ADORE IT! I am going to try this..i never use butter on bread anymoe. I always use dipping oil! Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to try it!

  8. I will be making this SOON!!!!! The recipe looks completely awesome and simple!!! ove the blog, plan to visit often!!!


  9. You've just saved me!!! I am serving pasta at a family meeting on Saturday, and I wanted very much to serve the Garozzo's-style dipping oil. I was going to go eat at the restaurant, bring the oil home, and then just guess at the ingredients. You've saved me an unnecessary trip! MUCH less expensive this way, and it's made with loving hands. Thank you!!!!

  10. I'm a huge fan of Garrozzo's Sicilian butter. TV chef Rick Bayless has an excellent recipe called Mojo De Ajo that is similar and has been a huge hit with my friends/dinner guests. Just Google Mojo de Ajo. Cooking the garlic gently to mellow the flavor is KEY


A moderator reviews all comments before they are posted. After submitting your comments, please check back in a few hours to see if they were added.

Related Posts with Thumbnails