With so many types of oils available, which one do you reach for when cooking? There is so much information out there, it can often be confusing. What makes an olive oil good? What is all the hype about coconut oil?
I'm here to break it down for you! My three go to oils are grapeseed, olive and coconut. I use grapeseed and coconut for high heat cooking, and olive oil for dressings and finishing. Olive oil actually has a very low smoke point, which means sautéing with olive oil burns it. Olive oil burns at 325 degrees, so any high heat cooking will burn and turn your oil bitter! Olive oil has incredible health properties and amazing flavor, so don't write it off right away. Just change the way you use it. The best way to use olive oil is in a vinaigrette. Here is a simple and delicious recipe for a red wine vinaigrette.
Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk together mustard and vinegar, then slowly whisk on olive oil. Season to taste.
For high heat cooking, I always use grapeseed or coconut oil. Grapeseed is a neutral flavored oil that is safe for high heat. Coconut oil is also safe for high heat and has many health benefits, however it is not always neutral flavored. That being said, grapeseed is a good multi-use oil. Grapeseed is a great go-to oil that we use for everything at The Chopping Block. Here is a simple recipe for roasted broccoli that uses grapeseed oil.
1 head of broccoli, cut into equal size florets
1/2 teaspoon red chili flake
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or enough for coating the broccoli
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place broccoli on a parchement lines sheet tray, and toss with salt, pepper, chili, and oil. Roast in the oven until lightly charred and cooked though, 15 minutes or so.
With all the different oils out there, it can be overwhelming, but I hoped that I have cleared some things up about what to use when! The biggest thing to remember is olive oil for cold applications and finishing, and grapeseed for high heat cooking.
If you are interested in learning more about different types of oils and vinegars in your cooking, don't miss our Cooking Lab: Flavor Dynamics demonstration class.