Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Camelina Oil

I'm having fun experimenting with camelina oil, a natural cold-presssed culinary oil produced in Saskatchewan. Camelina is an oil seed in the same family as mustard and broccoli. Three Farmers camelina oil is named for the three farmers who started the company. Read more in my article in the Star Phoenix.

Advantages for the home cook: High smoke point 475F -- Use it for searing, frying and grilling -- Slow to go rancid -- Long shelf life without refrigeration -- High in vitamin E and antioxidants -- Fresh green and nutty flavour.

Camelina oil pairs wonderfully with spring vegetables such as asparagus, baby greens and fiddleheads. Here's a camelina-inspired dinner for two:
Steelhead Trout Fillets
Heat oven to 350F. Cut one fillet into 2 or 3 pieces. Season with salt and pepper. In a heavy frying pan, heat 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs natural camelina oil. When hot, place the trout fillets skin side down. Sear until the skin is crisp, about 5 minutes. Place the pan in the oven to complete the cooking process, about 4 minutes. Carefully lift the fish from the pan so the skin remains intact.
Nutty Fiddleheads
Boil a small saucepan of salted water. Add 1 1/2 cups of fresh fiddleheads, stems trimmed. Boil 2 minutes and drain well. In a skillet, heat on medium 2 tbs roast onion and basil flavoured camelina oil. Briefly sauté 1/4 cup chopped walnuts until fragrant. Add fiddleheads. Season with salt if desired. Sauté 4-5 minutes. Fiddleheads may absorb the oil before they’re cooked, so be prepared to add more oil as needed. Remove from heat. Add a squeeze of lemon and shavings of parmesan cheese. This method also works for asparagus and green beans.
Spring Salad
Make a dressing by briskly whisking together 1 tbs lemon juice, 1/2 tsp mustard, pinch of salt and 1 tbs plus 1 tsp natural camelina oil. Gently toss with 2 cups of chopped baby spring greens. The salad in the picture includes spinach, sunflower, orach, dandelion, arugula, mustard sprouts and one red spring onion.


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