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Oct 3, 2007 06:53 AM

suggestions for flavorful/infused oils

i've experimented with various oils (e.g, toasted peanut, EVOO from Greece & Cali, coconut, canola, flax, and fish) for dressing salads, cooked veggies, and meats but i'd like to experiment a bit more. what are some flavorful oils to try?

can you taste a difference in walnut oil? how about pumpkin and macademia nut? since i want to add unique flavors, i'm also open to infused olive oils. O&co. has a few types but has anyone tried these?


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  1. Walnut Oil (and the other nut oils I'd imagine) does have a very distinctive nutty taste; you can immediately identify what it is. Walnut oil in particular has that same sorta bitter note to it that the walnuts themselves have. (I believe it's tannins) I think that makes it particularly good to pair with things that could be sticky sweet...raspberry for example.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wawajb

      I love walnut or hazelnut oil for some salads - usually one with arugula, nuts and goat cheese. A good flax oil also has that lovely nuttiness.
      All these oils are very prone to getting rancid quicker than other oils, so buy what you're going to use in a couple weeks/months and store them in the fridge.

    2. I make my own infused oil. I heat good EVOO in a heavy pan over very low heat, to which I add- thinly sliced garlic, assorted dry herbs (oregano, marjorum, basil, thyme, etc) a little crushed red pepper falkes. Let it steep until the garlic is soft and has scented the oil, then remove the garlic with a fork. I use this oil for white pizza W/ greens and goat cheese, herbed/ parmesan croutons, finishing sauce on fresh roasted red and yellow peppers or grilled veggies. You get the idea.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ironmanps

        Have you heard about concerns with garlic and botulism if it sits in oil and is stored too long? Might be worth checking out. I think commercial operations pasteurize theirs before selling. But may be a problem for us home cooks.

        1. re: kary

          Yes very true. Home made infused oil can harbor botulism toxin.

          If you do infuse oil with any fresh ingredient (garlic, herbs, chilis, etc) you need to keep in refrigerated and use or throw away within 10-14 days.

          1. re: C. Hamster

            is it a problem if you have removed the garlic? i would think not. do you leave the other herbs in the oil? if it is strained would there still be the same risk of botulism?

            1. re: alkapal


              any fresh ingredient that may have come in contact with soil is a potential botulism risk.

              even if it's removed. the oil can still be contaminated with bacteria and spores.

      2. I tried to make chili oil, but realized rather late that I had used the wrong kind of chili..
        d-uh. I also realized that you absolutely have to heat the oil to infuse. d-uh again.

        I've tasted very bland walnut oils (Spectrum - practically flavorless) and very aromatic ones. They are fantastic for salad dressings, with sherry vinegar or something fruity.

        Pumpkin seed oil is very intensely flavored, so I would use it only to drizzle over food -- roasted asparagus, or topping off a carrot or pumpkin soup.

        I use toasted peanut for stir-frys and other Asian cooking. It adds that wonderful peanut flavor, and has a pretty high smoking point.

        As for infused oils: I brought back lobster oil and porcini oil from Montreal, and find them to be disappointingly subtle....

        1. I've been buying ginger infused oil, I use it for almost everything.