Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Sun-Dried Tomato Dip-2


My husband and I are beginning to feel like restaurant jinxes.  Over the last few years we have discovered a few restaurants in our area only to see them close their doors a couple of years or even just a few months after deeming the eateries current favorites.  We don’t have a very good Vietnamese restaurant within short driving distance from home so when we stumbled upon one in Mountain View a few years ago, we eagerly made the drive once, even twice, a week for the consistently well-prepared fusion-type Vietnamese dishes which were always served with a smile.  Savory was never busy but we tend to dine early so we thought nothing of it.  We were so disappointed to see a “Closed” sign and an empty room beyond the glass walls after just a few months of enjoying good Vietnamese food.  The search for a new place resumed.

There was also an Italian restaurant tucked away in a tiny corner of a plaza in downtown Menlo Park.  A gracious woman ran the restaurant.  She remembered me and my husband after our first visit and thereafter made a point to seat us at one of her best tables.  She had an easy manner towards all of her guests and would often linger at each table to catch up on what everyone’s done during the week.  In the meantime, an Italian gentleman whipped up simple but tasty Italian dishes from a small corner kitchen.  And it quickly became a tradition to be served a digestif after the meal…always on the house.

Besides the main course options I always looked forward to the dip that came with the warm bread.  A departure from the usual bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, the bread was always accompanied by a tomato-based dip at Brunello.  I loved it and it wasn’t unusual for me to request a refill before the first course arrived.  I believe the restaurant was open for a year or two before it, too, closed its doors.  I was sad that Brunello was never able to compete with the more popular restaurants in the neighborhood but I was even sadder still at the prospect of no longer being able to enjoy the dip.

A few attempts at recreating the dip at home yielded unsuccessful results; I was never certain what was in the original, tomato paste or roasted tomatoes.  After another trial or two and becoming acquainted with another restaurant that serves a similar dip (this owner gave me hints of some of the ingredients), this version was born and I was wrong on both counts.  Sun-dried tomatoes, a handful of pantry items and a few cloves of roasted garlic make up this flavorful dip that is ideal with warm bread.  I like it served a bit warm but it is lovely at room temperature, too.  This sun-dried tomato dip comes together in minutes and the deep flavor is one you just might come to love.

* This is an enhanced version of the dip I paired with my Prawns and Polenta Rounds and I thought it deserved to be featured on its own.  I encourage you to give it a try.


Sun-Dried Tomato Dip-4


5.0 from 8 reviews
Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This dip takes a few minutes to prepare and it will become one of your favorites.
Recipe type: Dip
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1 cup
  • ¾ cup packed sun-dried tomatoes with the oil it came in
  • 7 cloves roasted garlic (or 2 cloves raw)
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • ½ cup olive oil (you can add more for a thinner dip)
  • 1-2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1 pinch of sugar (optional)
  • Fresh basil leaves for serving and for garnish
  1. Combine the sun-dried tomatoes (without draining the oil as you spoon it out of the jar), roasted garlic and anchovy fillets in the bowl of a food processor and process for several seconds. The mixture won't be completely smooth but the tomato pieces should be very fine and the garlic and anchovies completely blended in.
  2. I like this dip warmed a little so I transferred the mixture to a small saucepan and heated over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt to suit your taste. I also decided to add a pinch of sugar as I heated the mixture up just to add more depth to the tomatoes but you don't have to do this.
  3. Turn off the heat, transfer to a bowl and stir in the olive oil. Serve with warm, crusty bread. The fresh basil leaves added on top add a fresh layer of flavor that I also recommend.



Sun-Dried Tomato Dip-5



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  1. I know what you mean. There was a restaurant at the end of our neighborhood that opened up and every time we went by we’d say, “we need to go there and support them.” We mustn’t have been the only ones to say that because in a few months they were closed. Now there’s an Indian restaurant there but we haven’t been to that one either. I will go this week.

    In the meantime I’ll make this beautiful dip!

  2. I hate when a favorite restaurant closes. I do love this dip though. Anchovies make everything better.

  3. Very nice pictures! Your dip looks amazing!

  4. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m always looking for new dip recipes for breads. I bet this would be a great base for pizza too. Pinned.

  5. This sounds like it’s loaded with flavor with all the wonderful ingredients. I think I have everything so I will be giving this a try, can’t wait! 🙂

  6. I love sun-dried tomatoes, this is my kind of dip! (Plus then I get to eat more bread ;)).

  7. I hate when that happens. Unfortunately with the economy the way it is so many restaurants have trouble surviving unless they have PR, food and atmosphere.

    The recipe sounds wonderful. Don’t you just love it when you’re able to recreate a restaurant dish that’s spot on?

    Beautiful photos and writing!

  8. the restaurant business is the toughest one, at failures ranging upwards of 75%… it’s definitively “risky business”. My husband I have so much fun recreating dishes we liked at restaurants, but it’s not easy. And I love that page in Bon Appetit where readers ask for copycat recipes. You seem to have done well, here with this dip. Must try.

  9. Sun dried vegetables are great aren’t they? I would to see this on some pasta, lightly dressed and with some basil.

  10. A beautiful dip! Dried tomatoes are so versatile and delicious. I love the fact that you’ve used anchovies in this recipe.



  11. Aw so sad to hear about your favorite restaurants closing. We also don’t like it when it happens to us. But we are happy to finally have a Vietnamese one in the neighborhood. I am loving your tomato dip! The anchovies and sun-dried tomatoes sound great together.

  12. I don’t think it’s you (or me). But I too have noticed places that I like turn over. Partly because I love restaurants that I can walk to. But these particularly have a high turnover in my area. I’ve decided that’s a real estate jinx and not either one of us. GREG

  13. I do mine with just sun-dried tomatoes, oil & basil. Adding anchovies and a lot of garlic should give it a nice punch. I would like to try your version. Sounds and looks delicious! Are these the first set of pics from the camera? Beautiful Jean! My husband once spoke about a little Italian restaurant ran by an Italian couple in your area that he chanced upon years ago. He doesn’t remember the name but he said that he enjoyed the food and company of the owners so much. I wonder if it’s the same restaurant…

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Rowena, really? I’d love to know which restaurant it was. The one I refer to here was owned by a Japanese woman who lived and raised a family with an Italian husband in Italy.

      I shake my head at struggling to figure out what this dip was made of. I should have just asked you! I’ll try it your way next time–would be a lot easier without having to use roasted garlic—and I loved having this topped with fresh basil. 🙂

      Glad you like the pictures!

  14. The dip looks rich and gorgeous and I love sundried tomatoes. Fingers crossed for the next restaurant you visit. LOL.

  15. Glad to hear we are not the only jinxes! there was a wonderful Afghani restaurant called Rumi that we loved, I even bought a bunch of Groupon coupons only to find out they were closing 🙁 then there was a Thai place that we went to a lot that closed down too. Guess its the economy. Sad that these gems can’t seem to survive. Glad you were able to recreate this awesome dip! Must try 🙂

  16. Such a bummer when your favorite restaurant closes. It is like loosing an old friend. Glad you and hubby found a new one. Along with a fantastic new dip idea. I could eat this one ALL day long. Love it!!!!

  17. I’m super excited to try this… just need to get my hands on some sun-dried tomatoes!

  18. Sorry about the restaurant closings;-( Good thing there are a few new ones opening to offer new dining opportunities 😉 The color of your dip is just outstanding, can’t wait to give it a try;-)

  19. Um hello gorgeous! This is a great looking dip!! YUM

  20. I hate it when good restaurants close, and there are bad ones that people keep going to that stay open. This dip sounds fabulous! I love dipping bread in olive oil, but this would be a nice change.

    Gorgeous pictures too!

  21. Yes! Anything with sundried tomatoes, anchovies, and roasted garlic = scrumptious!!!! And look at that vibrant deep red-orange shade…just lovely. Accompanied by that stunning baguette…I feel like I’m in the Mediterranean. Sigh…

  22. love sun dried tomatoes. These can be used in so many ways, should try the dip sometime!

  23. I just happen to have some sun-dried tomatoes…and this looks like a good home for them 🙂

  24. Bagel, mocha, and sun dried tomatoes are my first 3 items that I got addicted when I came to the US in college days. Without parents around (for the first time), I remember I consumed them like crazy, yet I’m still in love with them. I for sure make this really really soon!!! With homemade bread you’ve been making… I know you are enjoying all kinds of dips! 😉

  25. I hit “print” before even reading the post! LOVE THIS! Can’t wait to have it!

    I hate it when a favorite spot closes… 🙁

  26. This sounds fantastic – one of my boys especially likes sundried tomatoes – saving this recipe to make for him.

  27. I definitely need to try this dip – I love sun dried tomatoes, and this looks perfect!

    we have a couple favorite restaurants where we feel at home, where they know us, begin pouring our drinks as we walk in the door, that kind of thing. it’s nice.

  28. have you ever made it without the anchovy? will it still be good?

  29. Oh this is right up my alley. I love sun dried tomatoes and really, these kinds of spreads on bread, sandwiches, or by the spoonful. Looks like a great party food!


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