Great Island Spice Blend ~ a blend of spices you can make yourself to use in all kinds of recipes. Grind it right into some fabulous olive oil for an easy dipping sauce for bread, it’s an quick and oh so delicious appetizer.
Although we live in an area known for good food and restaurants, we technically only have two restaurants on the island. Both are at the gorgeous and historic Wentworth by the Sea resort. We waited all winter for the more casual of the two to re-open for the season. Once it did, we’ve made a point to visit often, even if only for a drink. It sits dockside, overlooking the Atlantic.
They serve incredible homemade potato and olive bread. They pour olive oil on your plate and then grind a special spice mix onto the oil. It’s heavenly. We all commented on it, and right away we knew we had to try and make our own.
Normally I don’t go for the bread dipped in olive oil thing. It’s usually a little bland, and I figure it’s got a lot of calories for very little payback. The only exceptions are if the olive oil or the bread is spectacular, something extra is done with the oil, or you’re absolutely starving. In this case it was all three.
It always pays to try and ask about recipes when a restaurant serves something you love. Even if they don’t give you an actual recipe, many times you can garner enough details to help you recreate it at home. This time our waitress was so sweet, she ran right back to the kitchen ad brought us the spice blend, written on a kitchen check. As you can see, it’s simple:
AND COARSE SEA SALT
I had most of these herbs and spices in my cupboard. I decided to use an old salt grinder that I haven’t been using. My only other challenge was figuring out the proportions of the spices. I decided to start with equal amounts.
I measured out a tablespoon of each of the spices. I couldn’t find red peppercorns, so I used a blend. I put the spices into a bowl and mixed them together. From the look of it, it seemed to need more salt and pepper, so I added another tablespoon of peppercorns and 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
I spooned it into the grinder, and voila! It looks and tastes like the spice blend we had at the restaurant. It’s a little salty, but I like that. If you’re trying to cut down on sodium you could leave the salt out, or use less.
Set your grinder to the coarsest setting.
Get some great bread.
I chose a rustic olive loaf and cut it into pieces like they did at the restaurant.
Pour a good quality fruity olive oil onto a plate and grind the Great Island Spice Blend liberally right over the top.
Be sure to give everyone their own little plate of oil to encourage double dipping!
Great Island Spice Blend
- 1 Tbsp red or pink peppercorns
- 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
- 1 Tbsp whole fennel seed
- 1 Tbsp whole coriander
- 1 to 1 and 1/2 Tbsp coarse sea salt, according to your taste
- Mix all the spices together and fill a clean spice or pepper grinder. Grind as needed.
- If you’re trying to cut down on salt, leave it out, you’ll have a wonderful no-salt spice blend for everything from scrambled eggs to steak!
Questions and Reviews
Great shots, Sue! I love texture so seeing the spices together pre-grinding is beautiful.
We absolutely intend to copy this exactly as you have shown. Perfect. And, we think, wonderful at the start of a light summer lunch or supper, or even just to serve instead of canapés with a drink.
We were intrigued that you only have two restaurants close to you, and of course from the title of your blog we had assumed you were on an island, but where exactly? Obviously looking at the Atlantic but, and here our Geography fails us!
Judith—thanks, I agree that the visual of the spices/herbs is satisfying in itself. There are so many other combinations I can think of, it was hard to leave mustard and cumin seed out, for instance. If we were back home, you guys would be my guinea pigs!
J and L—I just tried some of the mix on my dinner of hot buttered corn, (my husband and daughter are both out, so I’m home alone for dinner and 2 ears of fresh summer corn is all I could manage)and it was great!
As for our location, if you follow the link to the Wentworth, that will give it away!