With over 400,000 hectares of rapeseed crops being grown in the UK each year, it is no wonder that the subsequent oil has become so popular with amateur cooks and professional chefs alike. In homes and restaurants around the country, bottles of this amazing oil can be found. Its versatility allows it to be used in a number of different recipes as well, adding to the flavour and generally making the dish healthier than if you were to use olive oil or butter instead. If you’re new to the rapeseed craze, here are some of the best ways in which you can use this natural ingredient.
Dips & Dressings
Looking back about 250 years, rapeseed was originally used as a weed suppressant and soil optimiser. Thus it wasn’t a primary ingredient in local cooking. The French still extracted the oil though, but mainly used it in salad dressings and dips. This use has still continued today and you can find many rapeseed dressing recipes on the internet. As this is a versatile ingredient, it can be used in a great many salad dressings and dips. Some of the more popular ideas are listed below:
In fact, this is an oil that goes with a wide variety of ingredients. Whether you’re using honey and mustard or basil and balsamic vinegar, a few tablespoons of rapeseed oil will always be a welcome addition.
Generally speaking, rapeseed oil has a higher flashpoint than other varieties. This is the temperature at which the oil starts to evaporate and form an ignitable vapour. In simple terms, this means that you can heat up rapeseed oil to a higher degree before it starts changing form. Because of this, the owners of rapeseed oil retailers such as Fussels Fine Foods claim that this is the best oil for roast meals. While this is generally regarded as the finest way to make perfect roast potatoes, it can also be used in other dishes such as roast vegetables, chicken or even leg of lamb.
Deep Fried Treats
Rapeseed oil can also be used for gourmet deep fried dishes as well. It has a high smoke point (the temperature at which oil starts burning and emitting a black smoke) making it perfect for this purpose. Since it’s more expensive than standard vegetable oils, with the possible exception of olive oil, it should only be used when you’re really worried about creating a classy taste. From simple fish and chip dishes to something more exotic such as chimichangas, there are plenty of ways in which you can utilise this light alternative to other cooking oils in your deep-fried recipes. Just make sure to maintain a frying temperature of 190°C so the oil doesn’t scorch the food or be absorbed too much into the interior.
This ingredient can also be used in a number of stir-fry dishes for all the above reasons (health, higher flash point, etc.). Since it’s a flexible oil, it can be used with a number of other ingredients to make some delicious dishes. You can whip up an Asian treat such as prawn and chilli stir-fried noodles. You can also opt for something a little more familiar like beef and broccoli. All of these dishes and many more will benefit from a dash of rapeseed oil during the cooking process.
These are only some examples of how you can use rapeseed oil in the kitchen. Whether you’re a chef for a living or just enjoy creating gastronomic delights at home, this is an ingredient you should really add to your pantry as soon as possible.
Victoria Lymburner is a writer for Fussels Fine Foods Limited, a company in Somerset that specialises in providing food products with rapeseed oil. They also have sunflower oil and other healthy alternatives on fusselsfinefoods.co.uk.