Salsa di Parmigiano (Parmesan Dip)


There are less than two weeks left before Christmas.  Are you excited or are you in a panic for all the items yet to be crossed off the list?  Are you hosting a holiday party this year?

My kitchen isn’t usually abuzz with activity this time of year since other family members host Christmas.  I cook a dish or two for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but otherwise, it stays relatively quiet…usually.

What’s kept me busy lately is bread.  I prepared a large batch of starter dough recently.  Good for several batches of homemade, rustic loaves, I’ve been kneading away in the kitchen on my days off, timing my errands around the first and second rise of the dough.  The process of baking bread can be time-consuming, to be sure, but there is something so satisfying about pulling that loaf out of the oven and hearing the bread crackle as it cools.  I will share the recipe for starter dough I’ve been using, as well as the breads my husband and I have been enjoying in upcoming posts.

For now, here’s a ridiculously easy dip you can put together in minutes out of ingredients you most likely already have.  I came across Michael Chiarello’s Salsa di Parmigiano in my Pinterest feed and promptly made a beeline for my kitchen to make it.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the gracious Mr. Chiarello and dining at his Bottega restaurant during a wine country weekend with friends last year (post and pictures here) and I’ve always been a fan of Tra Vigne (he was the Executive Chef for many years).  In fact, his recipe is what made me fall in love with gnocchi. I was sure his simple salsa would hit all the right notes with me, too.

Olive oil, Parmesan cheese, Manchego, oregano, scallions, crushed red pepper and garlic:  this is all you will need to create the perfect dip for your fresh bread.  The original recipe which I found in Alexandra’s Kitchen uses Asiago cheese but I used Manchego with great results.  I also used fresh oregano because it was what I had.

I wonder why it has never occurred to me to make this before.  I tend to sneak in a little Parmigiano in my saucer of olive oil whenever I’m in an Italian restaurant.  No matter, I’m very happy to have this in my life now.  This Parmesan Dip would be perfect on bruschetta (toasted Italian bread) or fresh-from-the-oven bread like I’ve done here.  Prepare it ahead of time because the flavors really come together after a few hours.  Wouldn’t this be the ideal dip for a holiday get-together?  It’s takes almost no effort to put together so you’ll be free to focus on other holiday to-dos.

* Stay tuned for the starter dough and bread recipes in upcoming posts!

* I just eyeballed the ingredients, this not an exact science, but here is the link to the recipe from Alexandra’s Kitchen.

The Recipe is very flexible on proportions. Use equal parts Parmigiano and Manchego, about a block of Parmigiano is a good amount, 2-3 cloves garlic, as much red pepper flakes as you’d like, a teaspoon or two each of fresh oregano and chopped scallions, freshly ground pepper and as much olive oil that will cover the cheese.  Pulse the cheeses in a food processor until they’re in small pieces then stir into all the other ingredients.  Adjust proportions according to your taste.


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  1. I love this dip, Jean! I’m always looking for quick and delicious appetizers/snacks at this time of year – this is perfect!

  2. What a beautiful dip, Jean! I bet the flavours work so well together and taste amazing!

  3. This sounds amazing! I am totally adding this to my Christmas appetizers list. And we are hosting! Eek!

  4. Mmmhh, I want to dive into that scrumptious dip!



  5. I’m still in panic mode when it comes to Christmas preparations, I could definitively use some of that dip as well as your fresh baked bread! (Can’t wait for the recipe!)

  6. This was on my to-do list of recipes to make after having eaten at Bottega recently. It is so amazing!

  7. Incredible !! Yesterday I went to the supermarket and I bought Manchego cheese…and then I got home and I asked myself: Why did I buy this?
    Now I know!! Thanks for the recipe and Happy Xmas!

  8. This looks fantastic! I’m going to try it for our Christmas festivities!

  9. I’m hosting a hanukkah/ christmas party this weekend as this will be the perfect dip for all the bread I’ve been baking! Can’t wait to taste it.

  10. It looks like something I would love and that bread looks wonderful too.

  11. Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) says:

    Sounds divine! Photos are gorgeous as usual!

  12. I’ve been enjoying seeing your bread post on IG and you really inspired me to pick up bread making too. I love rustic bread most and I can honestly live off with good (this is the key point) bread. But to enjoy the variety, I am really loving this dip. I’m sure good bread becomes amazing bread with this on top!

  13. I can’t believe Christmas is a week :O It sounds like you’re having a great time making your own bread. The dip sounds like the perfect accompaniment for homemade bread. Thanks for sharing Jean and have a great weekend!

  14. Parmesan, Asiago, garlic – the first three ingredients in the recipe already makes it a winner in my mind. Always on the lookout for a new dip recipe so thanks Jean!

  15. This salsa hits all the right notes for me, too! Asiago used to be our favorite aged cheese, now its manchego. Did this post prompt a craving for Bottega – enjoyed your recent Napa-grams 🙂

  16. Your bread is beautiful! And I know what you mean about the sounds the loaves make as they cool… I really need to get my starter going, and you’ve actually inspired me to try to knead my loaf by hand. I haven’t done it in ages, but I think I’m going to give it a go again.
    This dip is positively addicting I have a feeling! My husband would adore both the dip and the bread… Beautiful Jean!

  17. That looks beyond wonderful!!

  18. Beautiful photos Jean- so warm and inviting;-) I just have to try this dip, hopefully soon because I don’t think I can wait that long!!!

  19. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    I just eyeball the ingredients too when I make something like this. Difficult to measure it when you taste and add a little of this and a little of that. Also it depends on your personal taste and how salty or maybe spicy you want it. Love this fun dip, Jean:)

  20. This bread dip sure looks scrumptious! I like the cheese, olive oil, scallion, red pepper, garlic combo! I can taste it now…almost…Wish I was in Tuscany right now. Sigh.

  21. This is my KIND of dip! After reading your post, I remembered the parmesan dip that Napa Style sells. Yours I know is MUCH better and this is a winner in my book!!! Lovely photos!!!!

  22. Now it is only 2 days before Christmas, and I am very panicked! This delight might help though…looks wonderful 🙂

  23. Yum this dip is perfect with some delicious homemade sourdough bread.


  1. […] it’s hard not to be tempted to make a meal out of the entire loaf with a simple dip like this Salsa di Parmigiano and a glass of wine.  I’ve been experimenting with several of the restaurant’s bread […]

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