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Flavored grapeseed oil has it all

Fine Cooking Issue 34
Photo: Scott Phillips
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I love grapeseed oil. Not only does it have a high smoke point, making it great for sautéing and frying, but it’s also healthy:packed with vitamin E and linoleic acid (also called omega-6). Now Salute Santé, maker of an exceptional grapeseed oil, has added another reason to love grapeseed oil: flavor.

For its new line of oils, the company has infused its 100% natural Italian grapeseed oil with organic ingredients to create five different flavors: basil, lemon, rosemary, roasted garlic, and chile. You know you’re in for something wonderful as soon as you open one of the 97% uv-filtered glass bottles. The basil smells as if you were holding a fresh bouquet of the herb right under your nose, the lemon as if you were making lemonade.

As wonderful as they are to smell, cooking with them is even more fun. Asparagus tossed with the lemon oil and then roasted has a bright, citrusy zing. The chile oil, which has the least interesting flavor straight out of the bottle, added a nice touch of heat to a beef and broccoli stir-fry.

But you’ll get the most intense flavors using these oils straight from the bottle. Plain cooked white beans became delicious once drizzled with rosemary oil and were even ­
better with an added touch of the roasted garlic oil.

The oils are a natural for vinaigrettes, for mar­inades, and for dipping. The roasted garlic stood up so well to balsamic vinegar that I had to eat almost an entire loaf of bread while testing the combination. A mayonnaise made with two parts basil oil and one part olive oil tasted fresh and lively, with the basil flavor coming through loud and clear. In fact, because the flavor is so ­potent, diluting the basil oil with olive oil also makes economic sense, as an 8-ounce ­bottle of the oil costs $9.50. Salute Santé Grapeseed Oils are available in specialty food stores, or  visit www.salutesante.com.

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