Monday, November 15, 2010

Grapeseed Oil

Here is an article I recently wrote for my local co-op. I'm excited to try the grapeseed oil. Although I've seen it at many grocery stores, I haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is a light, clean-tasting oil found in French cuisine and other specialty foods. It is a natural and abundant by-product of winemaking, and is derived from pressing the seeds of various varieties of grapes. Because it has a high smoke point, it can safely be used to deep- and stir-fry foods, but it is also tasty when found as an unprocessed and raw ingredient in sauces, dips and salad dressings. Unlike other oils, cooking with it doesn’t create a greasy after-taste.
It has non-culinary uses, as well. It is an effective moisturizer (often found in face lotions and massage oils), and can be used as a carrier oil for essential oils in aromatherapy. Similarly, it can be useful as a lubricant for shaving and, because of its mild astringent and antiseptic qualities, it can function in the process of skin repair.
If you find that you don’t use it very often, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator, so it doesn’t become rancid. 

Here is a tasty recipe straight from the company (Napa Valley Oil Co.) website. It would be perfect as a side for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Instead of letting it cool all the way, start “working” with it after about 15 minutes of cooling, and after mixing in the other ingredients, serve right away while still warm.
Summer Rice Salad
Serves about 8

Cook one package of mixed brown rice according to the directions.

1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots
2/3 cup chopped & toasted walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped green onion tops
4 T. finely chopped celery
4 T. finely chopped red onion
4 T. raspberry vinegar
4 T. fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t. Dijon mustard
2 t. sugar
1/4 cup Napa Valley Grapeseed Oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Drain and cool the rice.  It should take about 45 minutes for the rice to cool.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Mix in:  cranberries or cherries and apricots, nuts, green onion tops, celery and red onion.  (Can be prepared one day in advance.  Cover and refrigerate.) 
Mix vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and sugar in a blender.  With the blender running, gradually mix in oils.  Pour dressing over the rice mixture and toss.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.


kathleen said...

Thanks for the info. on grapeseed oil. I've never tried it.

My husband thinks I am crazy but I sometimes use olive oil as a moisturizer in winter when my skin can get really dry.

Unknown said...

Kathleen - that's awesome! I like that idea; I used the grapeseed oil other day for a recipe and it was so mild-smelling that I think it really would be effective in just about every use. Do you have a "recipe" for using oil as a moisturizer?


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