one of the easiest appetizers to have on hand for drop in visitors would be Italian dipping oil seasonings. in a matter of minutes, a small amount of light olive oil can be mixed with a variety of seasonings, creating a wonderful taste for dipping crusty bread. i have purchased a couple of different types of Italian seasonings and have used them a number of times with great success.
by choosing a nice Italian mixed blend, the work of creating just the right taste with the perfect combination of herbs and seasonings is minimized. i often use a dipping oil plate which has a recessed area where the herbal mix is placed and then topped with the oil.
the choice of bread should be soft enough that the oil is absorbed, but sturdy enough for reliable dipping without sogginess. everyone likes to dip bread and just a few pieces makes a nice appetizer.
choose this presentation before a pasta dish or even a nice fish entree.