Rapeseed oil is a great alternative to other cooking oils. It has a gentle nutty flavour and a lovely rich yellow colour. We use it in our recipes as well as other oils and like it for mayo, cakes and dressings. But there’s more to rapeseed oil than the plain version. Borderfields infuses rapeseed oils with garlic, chilli, lemon, basil and thyme, adding a layer of flavour to the oil and making it exciting to cook with.
I recieved a taster pack of Borderfields oils containing lemon, garlic and basil infused oils. I tasted them immediately, and my head’s been buzzing with ideas for how to use them ever since.
What do you do with flavoured oils? They make great additions to salad dressings, and are excellent as dipping oils. But you can do more with them. Below are some of the things I’ve tried and am planning.
The garlic oil is pungent and fills the room with a wonderful garlic scent. It has the depth of garlic without of the lingering bite of raw cloves. It’s a natural addition to dips, perfect on focaccia, or to finish off a pizza. Add a tablespoon to couscous, or paint onto crostini before heaping with chopped tomatoes for fast, great-tasting bruschetta. It also adds flavour to savoury pancake or Yorkshire pudding batter, and richness to farinata. You don’t need much of this to add a comforting garlic flavour to stews, soups or dips.
I’ve got plans to use it in a vegan version of my favourite onion flan, both in the oil-based pastry and in the gram flour egg replacement.
My first experience of the lemon oil was drizzled over mozzarella on baguette. It was lovely and just raised the sandwich to another level. The lemon oil has a clean, strong lemon flavour, somewhat rounded by the oil itself. It’s zesty, but not sour.
The lemon oil is really easy to use: drizzle over salad and you have instant dressing. Add as a dipping oil, or use in home made pesto, salsa verde or homous for a bit of a kick. I’m planning to add it to my favourite vegan ginger cake the next time I make it, and have already tried it in one of my favourite biscuits. (Recipe below.) It works beautifully.
- 75 grams butter
- 140 grams caster sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla sugar, or 0.5 cap vanilla essence
- 5 cl Lemon infused rapeseed oil (for plain vanilla dreams, replace with unflavoured oil)
- 160 grams plain flour
- 0.5 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Turn the oven to 150C.
- Cream sugar, vanilla sugar and butter until soft.
- Add the oil and mix until airy.
- Mix flour and bicarbonate of soda.
- Mix into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Roll the dough into sausages, cut and roll into small balls.
- Put on a baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Bake in the middle of the over for about 15 minutes. The biscuits should have risen, be pale golden - not brown - and have cracks.
- Let cool before serving.
I love basil. It’s aromatic, warm and fresh all at the same time. Growing up in the north of Sweden, I knew basil as green sprinkles that didn’t really taste of anything. The fresh leaves have a very different flavour. The basil oil encapsulates that flavour. It has a suggestive scent and a clean basil flavour.
The first time I used it I had a cold and felt rather sorry for my self. It was lunchtime and I wanted something soothing. In the fridge, I found a quarter packet of fresh pasta and a pot of home made tomato soup (basically sugo). I boiled the pasta, drained it, returned it to the pot with enough sugo to coat it and warmed through. Then, into a bowl it went, I drizzled a little basil oil on top, and grated on a little Italian-style hard cheese. Blissful, comforting lunch in 10 minutes flat. Sometimes, simple is what you need. This is a really good drizzler: a couple of drops jazzes up home-made tomato soup, and is really nice on avocado.
If the ideas above aren’t enough to get you inspired, the Borderfields website has lots of recipes. Borderfields sell dressings and plain rapeseed oil as well as the infused oils. If the infused oils appeal, you can get packs of different flavours to experiment with.