The dipping sauce is a great opportunity to infuse some theater into a meal and so many people miss out on it. It amazes me how with a few simple high quality ingredients you can have an excellent eating experience. I get frustrated because so few people do the dipping sauce correctly, imho.
With grand sweeping gestures, spouting Italian blessings and curses, approach the table with the balsamic and olive oil. Now chattering happily select a large flat plate. Like a Shinto priest painting a zen circle, make a circle with the olive oil in one fell swoop.
The their should be enough olive oil to make an unbroken flat surface. The olive oil will now trap the balsamic that you drizzle onto it. Now just calm the fuck down Jackson Pollock, you don’t need as much as you think. Try doing 3 drops or something and telling them about the 3 drops of Percivals blood that he saw in the snow before his enlightenment or some such mind boggling obscure sophistry. Remember that the olive oil is your palate, The beauty of the plate can also aid in the presentation. If you are among trusted friends have fewer plates so people have to share.
You can add some herbs, such as herbs de Provence, I would avoid Rosemary because it is too chewy the texture detracts, also if you are going to use black pepper it can get stuck in the throat and burn. Try African sumac, and Parisian, and remember there are flavored balsamics you might want to experiment with like fig, and there are infused olive oils such as garlic, basil, habanero, and my favorite and the one I strongly recommend everyone to use, Blood Orange….
Have fun experimenting and remember,
Alchemy started in the kitchen.