Trying a Brit alternative to imported extra virgin – UK Rapeseed Oil

UK rapeseed field in flowerOne of the reasons I enjoy going to foodie pop-ups and ad hoc local events is the fantastic information, conversation and suggestions which abound. Food combos I wouldn’t have thought of like beef & mackerel,  inspiration for seasonal eating, or in recent weeks, mention of an ingredient I’d never bought before. Whilst at the Manchester Gourmet Club’s first event, chef Robert Owen Brown talked of his liking for locally sourced rapeseed oil as an alternative to imported olive oil and further investigation into his cookbook Crispy Squirrel & Vimto Trifle included it in several recipes. The obligatory googling revealed not everyone is a fan, but I bought some anyway as I trust Rob & his palate and have tasted his delicious food several times.

I used the Sainsbury’s one I’d found as a dressing base for a fresh tuna steak salad last night, mixing 30ml of oil with the juice of 1.5 lemons, 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of caster sugar, a twist of salt & pepper and a handful of chopped parsley. I added that to some cooled waxy quartered new potatoes and left them to marinate before adding sliced green beans & orange pepper, then topping with the rare fried tuna and cold boiled egg. It was delicious. A remarkably nice dressing.

Yes, the oil has a nuttiness & a particular flavour and maybe hasn’t the drinkability of some fine olive oils, but it’s great for making dressings or adding a splash to stabilise butter for frying. It’s a little costly to deep fry in. I maybe wouldn’t use it for bread dipping, nothing can beat a superb olive oil for that, but it’s a great UK alternative to always using a foreign product. I’ll be keeping some in the larder and will be buying it again. Give it a go and support British farmers!

UK Rapeseed Oil used in tuna recipe for dressing
Si’s Tuna Salad using a rapeseed oil dressing

You can get it from your local supermarket but far better to directly support a local supplier if you’re lucky enough to have one, these looked great online:

Northampton: First to cold press in 2005, the Farrington family : HERE 

Rapeseed Oil. Farrington family Northampton

Yorkshire: The Palmers farm in Yorkshire : HERE

Rapeseed oil UK Palmers Yorkshire

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