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Mar 28, 2009 07:44 AM

Nut Oils

I was browsing around my Whole Foods the other day and noticed a variety of beautiful nut oils produced by La Tourangelle ( I found looking at the products was extremely inspiring as I imagined what dimension and flavor these oils could add to everyday dishes. In addition to the flavorful possibilities, nut oils are EXTREMELY healthy, considering most are lower in saturated fat and higher in monounsaturated fat than even OLIVE OIL. Because walnut oil has a smoking point of 320 degrees, I think it would be best for cold applications- like salad dressing and pesto. I think hazelnut and almond (smoking point 420) would be fantastic in baked goods, gratins, soups, etc. What is your favorite nut oil and how do you use it?
Here is a list of a few oils sold by La Tourangelle:
Roasted Walnut oil
Roasted hazelnut oil
Roasted almond oi
Avocado oil
Roasted Pecan oil
Roasted pistachio oil
Toasted pumpkin seed oil
Infused white truffle oil
Infused black truffle oil

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  1. I love nut oils and use them in salad dressings and things like pesto, romescu, etc. Because the flavors are generally strong and the they aren't giving them away, I don't really cook w/ the exception of almond oil. Although they can be use like sesame oil w/ another oil as a flavoring in a sauteed dish.
    The other main thing I use them for is finishing dishes. I like hazelnut and pistachio in particular drizzled over soup, risotto, fish etc just before serving.
    Not food but I also use almond and avocado oils in homemade salt scrubs for the bath.

    If you haven't tried them start w/ your favorite eating/cooking nut and you'll start coming up w/ a million ideas.

    1. Grapeseed oil. It's light, multi-purpose and easy to get in local markets. If you enjoy a light dressing or marinade, grapeseed oil is excellent.

      8 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        I agree. Grapeseed is my everyday go to oil. Great for cooking and things like mayo/aiolis too.

        1. re: lucygoosey

          I've heard about but never tasted this oil; can you describe its flavor profile a bit?

          1. re: jay27

            Grapeseed oil is relatively neutral.

          1. re: MikeG

            No grapeseed oil pressed from various grape seeds, Mike G...just happens to be a favorite..a bit OT I know ;)

            1. re: HillJ

              I didn't mean to come across that abruptly, it just seemed odd to find it here unless somehow it turned out that grapeseeds were technically "nuts" or something (you know like tomatoes are "berries") ;)

              1. re: MikeG

                Oh MikeG, I didn't take your comment as abrupt whatsoever. Always happy to learn/participate along w/fellow 'hounds.

            2. re: MikeG

              I've never tasted roasted pecan oil, sounds interesting.

          2. Grapeseed is light which I love is dressing and marinades and over fish as a light garnish. Truffel oil over scallops are amazing, but have used it over lobster and even quail. Almond, sesame and walnut oil for all kinds of dishes. dressing, glazes, glazes or drizzles over meat, marinades or just an accent on a plate. Stir fries with sesame, same with walnut. Pistachio I just used in a walnut apple salad. Hazelnut too. Deserts would be great with many of these oil too although I don't bake that much. I do on occasion. I love the oils over vegetables in salads, seafood, pork, lamb is great too.

            A walnut oil with some sauteed shallots, pomegranate and grilled orange slices is great with a cider and white glaze over pork loins in a walnut crust with fired sage leaves is out of this world and not hard.

            Pesto is a must. Sauces, A white sauce with hazelnuts and a hazelnut oil that the spinach, shallots, acorn squash and duck was sauteed in with some fresh figs and port wine is a great dish.

            Let me know if interested in a recipe.

            You can also do a simple pork tenderloin with a nut oil too and then glaze with some orange, rosemary and butter. Grill, roast or pan sear and serve with a light glaze and a simple butter, orange and nut sauce. 20 minutes and serve over rice with a veggie side.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kchurchill5

              Mmm great ideas; I would love the recipe for walnut-crusted pork loin.

              1. re: jay27

                Let me find and will send. Pretty easy.

                A walnut oil with some sauteed shallots, pomegranate and grilled orange slices is great with a cider and white glaze over pork loins in a walnut crust with fired sage leaves is out of this world and not hard.

                This uses 4 large thick pork chops with a light walnut crust and then a nice glaze. With fruit flavors. First I make my stuffing which combined fried sage. I just fry in a little oil (2 teaspoons) for a few seconds until crunchy. Remove and cool. I used olive oil. Save the oil. Then I put the sage leaves and 2 fresh slices of bread (I used a nice wheat bread) and about 1/3 cup walnuts and pure until a fine mixture for a breading, mix in some salt and pepper. Next mix 1 large egg, 1/8 cup honey and 1 teaspoon cream and dip the pork chop in and then dredge in the crumb mixture. I like to pan saute these in cast iron but stainless is ok. I use 1/2 teaspoon walnut oil and 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Saute on one side and then flip and finish in the oven. Once the chops come out remove and cover.

                Now the sauce with is very quick. Use the dripping and saute a shallot diced, then add some mandarine oranges 1/4 cup and saute lightly and then add fresh pomegranate seeds + 1/8 cup juice, if you can't find the seeds just use the juice which is fine. Also 1/8 cup apple cider. Cook about 5 minutes till lightly reduced and then drizzle over the top. More fried sage leaves are really pretty on top but not necessary. Top with a few chopped walnuts and a drizzle of walnut oil. Or make a wild rice and drizzle some walnut oil in at the end which is really good.

                It changes a bit due to availability of fresh fruit or pomegranate seeds so I never know, but that is close. It is really pretty to entertain with. And please feel free to change anything you want. The base recipe is really good. Peaches and cranberries would be great too. It was just spring so I used something different. Anything will work and the walnut oil is really good. Just go lightly!!

            2. I just used up the last of my toasted walnut oil and Whole Foods near me says they're not carrying it anymore.

              Anyone know where to get some more in the San Fernando Valley?

              1. I've learned the hard way to open a newly-purchased bottle of nut oil before I leave the store - rancidity is rampant. I can't recall the brand, but I once gave up after opening 2 more bottles which were also spoiled. Good nut oil should be stored in the freezer and even then, won't keep indefinitely; best to make frequent use of it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: greygarious

                  I have this problem specifically with avocado oil. I have never bought a bottle that is not rancid, and so I stopped trying.