All My Oils, with Grapeseed Oil Vinaigrette recipe

Do you like using different kinds of oils in the kitchen? Recently I have been branching out. Here are some of the lovely oils we enjoy.

I like La Tourangelle brand, perhaps as much for the attractive packaging and easy-pour spouts as for the actual product. I use their Grapeseed oil most often in salad dressing. It has a very mild flavor. I believe it must be secretly laden with healthy antioxidants.

Avocado oil (please refrigerate!) is good for homemade mayonnaise. I mainly use it on beet & feta salads. It is a rich lovely green with a slightly nutty flavor.

Coconut oil is perfect for frying already-steamed sweet potatoes. They develop a slight crust but are meltingly soft in the middle, I love them for breakfast. I also use coconut oil for making cauliflower rice, and it's good in some paleo-type muffin recipes. It tastes like coconut!

Red Palm Oil is a recent find at our local food coop—I used to order it online. Palm oil is a required ingredient for chop, which is a spicy family favorite made of greens, ham and hot peppers and served over white rice. Because this Nutiva oil comes from Ecuador you can be sure no orangutan habitats have been harmed, which is a concern with palm oils from Southeast Asia. Because there are no orangutans native to Ecuador.

Olive oil is a staple, right? Great for drizzling over caprese (fresh mozzarella slices alternated with tomato and covered with chopped basil and balsamic vinegar). I also like it for any basic sauteeing. I try to avoid using olive oil to grill because it smokes too easily.

Ghee, which is basically milk oil, is also lovely for frying. I always use ghee for eggs, and will add it to olive oil when frying up onions for a soup or slow cooker dish. Basically ghee imparts a butter taste but has a much higher smoke point.

The little dish in the front is full of chilled bacon grease. I use it as a secret ingredient in chili or refried beans.

These two oils are drizzlers--smaller containers of highly flavorful oils. I try to make them last!
Walnut oil is very nice when massaged into string beans, which you then grill and sprinkle with crunchy kosher salt.
Hazelnut oil is super over sauteed greens, such as kale or perpetual spinach. I like to caramelize/slightly burn some crushed garlic in olive oil, throw the greens in and cover until crisp-tender, then add red pepper flakes, hazelnut oil, and kosher salt. I love kosher salt I guess...

Here's one reason La Tourangelle is great--each oil has a thermometer showing the suggested heat range for the product.

Recipe time! Here's a picture of my work lunch. (I add more veggies when I get to work.) Notice the spice jar tucked on the left. Every morning I compose a simple dressing of five ingredients straight into the spice jar. It takes about a minute, so even when I'm in a huge rush (always) I can still eat lunch salad regularly as it takes no time at all.

Grapeseed Oil Vinaigrette

In a container with firm lid, pour:
  1. 1 T grapeseed oil (in this jar, I put in about 1/2 inch)
  2. 1 T white balsamic vinegar (same amount as grapeseed oil if you're doing it by eye)
  3. 1 squirt of Dijon mustard to emulsify, probably about 1/2 t
  4. salt
  5. pepper
You don't even have to mix--wait until you're about to use the dressing and then give it a good shake.

Do you use different oils for different things? What are some favorites?

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