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David Ross

Nut Oils

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I love the delicate flavor of nut oils-especially walnut oil and hazelnut oil. Yet my repetoire of preparations is limited to a simple vinaigrette made with nut oil, Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. I do vary the type of vinegar depending on what I'll be dressing with the vinaigrette. I especially like white, pear-flavord balsamic vinegar and hazelnut oil in a dressing I combine into a salad of greens, toasted hazelnuts, sliced pear and bleu cheese.

Are there other uses for nut oils other than in a vinaigrette?

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I use walnut oil in the whole-grain (yeasted) breads I make; it amplifies the nuts' flavor (walnuts or pecans, usually) in the bread.

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Baking, there's a recipe in one of the nigella cookbooks for an apple cake that calls for toasted walnut oil. Dorie talks about using pistachio oil as a condiment on avocado as a simple but amazingly good appetizer in Around My French Table. You could use some as a sub for olive oil or grapeseed oil in mayonnaise, or in pesto, either in addition to or in place of some of the olive oil, matching the nut oil with the nut you use (my kids usually get to my pine nuts before they make it into pesto, so I use walnuts, pistachios, or almonds, depending on what's in the house) to reinforce the nutty component. Maybe a walnut-arugula pesto with pecorino? Sounds like dinner to me!

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If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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i brush walnut oil lightly on bread to make toast, add some cheese or good chopped chocolate and flakes of salt, broil to melt.

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Bumping this topic up. I went a bit overboard in December, buying a lot of nut oil from Trader Joe's that was offered at an excellent price.  Walnut, hazelnut, pistachio.

 

I love janeer's idea of using it in chiffon cake. It reminded me that Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe for chocolate chiffon cake (the Cake Bible) suggests using walnut oil. I've made it without, and it's a great recipe, so if I can accumulate some egg whites I'll try it again with.  Also, re: Genkinaonna's mention of Dorie Greenspan's recommendation of pistachio oil w/ avocado--I did give that a try, and it was a good combination.

 

I'm browsing my cookbooks. Any new ideas here?



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You could think also at mayo (cutting with another oil). Also Ligurian sauce with walnuts to dress pasta, you could add a bit of walnut oil (and do an hazelnut variation). Veal roast with hazelnuts a very Piedmontese dish (where you can also use a bit of hazelnut oil). I particularly like squash/pumpkins with pistachio or walnuts (I have in mind that Turkish dessert) but could go savory and beets. Veloute' of butternut or celery root or beets.

I like to use hazelnut and walnuts (and their oils) with bitter greens. I remember a dish from J. McLagan in fat with pork rillettes, endive and apple plus hazelnut oil. Love cold white meat (chicken, pork) salads with radicchio, endive, frisee.

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I love nut oils, but I don't find them to be quite so delicate, at least not in baking. I remember subbing 1/4 cup of toasted walnut oil for a recipe's 1/2 cup canola oil (it was for a banana loaf cake, which has other strong flavors of its own), and it was too overpowering. Two tablespoons does just fine. I agree it would be great in a chiffon cake (I love chiffon cakes, I'm thinking hazelnut oil), but I'd be careful about the amount used, a little goes a long way. Actually I would like to leave work and go home and bake a chiffon cake right now. <sigh>

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I like using macadamia oil in a stir fry and sometimes as part of the oil component in mayo.

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You can add nut oils to chocolate and white chocolate, prior to melting - adding subtle flavors to the chocolate and a bit more pronounced flavor to the white chocolate.

Pistachio oil is especially nice with white chocolate and the color produces is quite attractive.

 

Added at the same ratio as butter or with using half the amount of heavy cream - in 70% chocolate, the flavor is less pronounced.  The lower the percentage of chocolate liquor, the more the nut flavor comes out.

 

Also, oil added to the chocolate and melted with it, will keep the chocolate from seizing when other alcohol-based flavorings are added. 


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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bruschetta, brush on after toasting (walnut oil is best used cold as it develops bitterness the more it's heated)

add to cold sauces

drizzle over hot pasta and cooked pizza

walnut oil and apples make a great couple, drizzle over the top of apple crumble after it's cooked

dukkah + crusty bread + balsamic for dipping + nut oil for dipping

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