Recipes: Rapeseed oil dishes offer a change of gear in your kitchen
I NEVER used to like rapeseed oil, finding it far too strong a flavour, and apt to dominate the other ingredients in whatever I was making.
But I have discovered that there are a variety of types of rapeseed, and the oils that result are very different in flavour. I have encountered several that I love, and rapeseed oil is hugely beneficial healthwise, containing not only the valued Omega 3 but also Omega 6. Rapeseed oils should be a firm fixture on the shelf in all our kitchens. Try for yourselves, and see which one you like best. Rapeseed oil is as useful as olive oil. I use both, just for variety – I love the flavour of olive oil and could never live without it, but I am growing to value rapeseed oil almost as highly. My current favourite is Cullisse oil, from near Tain.
Cumin and garlic mayonnaise
This is good with baked or grilled white fish, and with chicken. It is delicious with sweetcorn or courgette fritters, too.
1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, bashed with the end of a rolling pin in a deep small bowl
2 fat cloves of garlic, blanched twice - put the garlic, in its skin, into a small pan and cover with cold water. Over moderate heat bring the water to the boil, drain it off and repeat. Drain the second lot of boiling water and, when the garlic is cooled enough not to burn your fingers, snip off the skin at one end and squeeze - the garlic should come out of its skin easily.
1 teaspoon salt, about 15 grinds of black pepper, ½ teaspoon caster sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
½ pint/285ml rapeseed oil
2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Heat the tablespoon of rapeseed oil over moderate heat and fry the pounded cumin seed for a couple of minutes. Then cool.
In a processor put the skinned blanched garlic cloves, the cooled cumin seeds in their oil, the salt, pepper and caster sugar and the egg and yolk. Whiz, and then, drop by drop add the remainder of the rapeseed oil. When you achieve a thick emulsion add the oil in a very thin, steady trickle until it is all used up. Lastly, whiz in 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, taste, and if you think it is needed, whiz in the third tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Scrape the mayonnaise into a serving bowl, cover the bowl with clingfilm and store in the fridge till required.
If the mayonnaise is too thick, while it is still in the processor whiz in a couple of tablespoons of nearly boiling water, to thin it down slightly.
Courgette, petit pois and spring onion stir fry Serves 6
3-4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1½ lb/680g courgettes, trimmed at either end and the courgettes sliced into fine matchsticks
12 spring onions, trimmed at either end and each sliced into 3
1 fat garlic clove, skinned and diced
1 teaspoon salt, about 15 grinds of black pepper
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
8oz/225g petit pois, thawed
The petit pois will thaw quickly if you spread them, frozen, into an even and thin layer. Heat the rapeseed oil in a sauté pan and stir fry the finely sliced courgettes with the sliced spring onions and diced garlic over high heat, for 3-5 minutes, or until the courgettes are soft. Add the salt and black pepper and the finely grated lemon rind, and the thawed petit pois, and stir fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Put the contents of the sauté pan into a warmed dish to serve.
Slightly curried mango salsa
This is delicious with any fish, chicken or pork dish.
3 ripe mangos
2 small to medium sized red onions
3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
2 level teaspoons medium strength curry powder
1 teaspoon salt, about 15 grinds of black pepper
½ teaspoon dried chilli – optional
grated rind of 1 lime and its juice
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
Slice the skin from the mangos and cut the mango flesh from the stone. Slice the mango into dice as evenly sized as possible, and about the size of your smallest fingernail.
Skin the red onions and cut each in half. Finely dice each half.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a wide saucepan and, over moderate heat fry the diced red onions with the curry powder for 3-4 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and cool the contents.
In a bowl, mix the diced mango flesh with the cooled curried diced onions, the salt, black pepper, dried chilli – if you are using it – the finely grated lime rind and its juice, and the chopped coriander. Scrape the salsa into a bowl and keep covered, in a cool place, until you are ready to serve it as an accompaniment to the main course.
TOP TIP: Claire’s favourite, Cullisse Highland Rapeseed Oil, is cold pressed and available in 250ml (£5.45) and 500ml (£7.50) bottles. For more visit, www.cullisserapeseedoil.co.u
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