13 September 2011

Infused Bread Dip made with Camelina Oil from the Prairies

Infused Bread Dip

Throughout the history of agriculture and food consumption, many foods have come and gone. In recent years, we have "rediscovered" certain grains that were once a primary part of our ancestors' diets. The term Ancient Grains has been used to describe those seeds that are "new" in the sense that they are not recognizable to the current generation and yet have been around for centuries and remain untouched and unmodified over time. Camelina is one such seed. They are the same seeds that grew wild centuries before us and were harvested by our foraging ancestors. It is an ancient grain that has retained its natural flavour and nutritional properties. The nutty oil that is extracted from the seed is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and has an abundance of Vitamin E. It is a shelf stable and heat tolerant oil which adds to its versatility for use in the kitchen. I was lucky enough to receive some camelina oil to try and here is what I have discovered.

Camelina sativa, with the popular names leindotter, false flax or "gold of pleasure", is a cruciferous oilseed plant commonly known as just camelina. This ancient grain originated in parts of Northern Europe and Central Asia and is just now making its comeback right here in Canada, on the sprawling prairies of Southeast Saskatchewan thanks to a group of hardworking farmers. Anyone with an appreciation for naturally nutritious foods will be captivated with the simple nature, yet complex taste of this unique oil.

When cold-pressed, Camelina seeds produce a light and delicate oil that is chalk full of Omega-3 and 6 and Vitamin E. However the real beauty of this Canadian oil lies in its fresh flavour, vibrant colour and stable nature. It carries a light, earthy fragrance and tastes slightly nutty on the palate. It has also been described as green, asparagus-like, carries a hint of cauliflower, or incredibly unique. Whether you are a gourmet chef or simply appreciate naturally nutritious foods, Camelina oil offers a bold and unique flavour that compliments a variety of culinary creations.  From dips and spreads to marinades and dressings, the complexity of this oil adds distinction and flare to our every day cooking.

Not only is this oil beautiful as a dipping oil or salad oil, it has a high smoke point of 475F which allows for all types of high temperature cooking without fear of burning or smoking the oil. Though Camelina oil is highly polyunstaurated and rich in Omega-3, it remains a stable oil due to its high levels of Vitamin E. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in vegetable oil and allows for a longer shelf life of 12 - 15 months without refrigeration. If you choose to refrigerate it it will not congeal in these cooler temperatures. All of these characteristics make it the perfect choice for our modern society.

Introducing a new food crop to the North American market can be a long process, but a small group of farmers have the patience and determination to make it happen for camelina. Canpressco is a company that sprang from the desire for farmers to know their customers just as their customers would like to know them. The opportunity to introduce this unique oil to the Canadian culinary market was the basis for the formation of their Three Farmers branded product line. Situated on the vast Saskatchewan prairies, Three Farmers is exactly what it sounds like. They are a handful of farmers, passionate about growing natural, healthy food where each bottle can be traced right back to the specific farmers field

Since Sunday I have been here in Vancouver exploring new nooks and crannies. I have wandered all over Chinatown and explored the sights and sounds and had lunch at Melinas. Today I will be hitting Commercial Drive, the home of Italian and Portuguese immigrants with a little Greek thrown in for good measure. Tomorrow we will hit Granville Island as well as some of food truck culture, off to Legendary Noodle for some noodle pulling demonstrations and the rest is yet to be discovered.
Back to the Future....

Over four years of blogging I have found many wonderful recipes to share on these pages. Some from my own kitchen, some from your creative blogs and web sites, and some from well known celebrities and chefs. I have been feeling a little nostalgic and was browsing these very pages just the other day, creeping back to the very beginning in 2006 when More Than Burnt Toast was in it's infancy and no more than "knee high to a grasshopper". We all have those stellar recipes from when we first started when we were lucky enough to find one comment and have maybe one reader; in my case even before I was taking photos of the dishes I prepared. My other motivation for reconnecting with the past is to create uniform formatting on this blog and this is a fun way for me to revisit past posts.

So here are a couple of flashback recipes from the very first baby steps here at MTBT with...



This bread dip was light and refreshing. My only regret was that I didn't have more!

**Infused Bread Dip**

  • 500ml Three Farmers Camelina Oil
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil and stems
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • salt to taste
Peel garlic and clean the onion. Place all your herbs in the food processor or blender. Slowly add the Camelina Oil to the herbs while processing and season with salt. Let stand in the refrigerator over night for enhanced flavor. Enjoy with fresh bread for dipping or even as a dressing!! Best Blogger Tips

18 comments:

  1. I've never had Camelina Oil but now I want to try it!

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  2. A grain that I've never heard of? Could this be true? It sounds like it makes for a great dip!

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  3. That dip is very original! I wonder how camelia oil tastes...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. Ahhhh, I have never heard of camelina oil before, but you certainly put it to good use. Nice looking dip. Yum!

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  5. I check some olds recipes and I wonder if I make some again, now,that I´m a grown up blogger.;). Great idea Val Love the dip as a wonderful summer appetizer

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  6. I wonder if I can get this here in New York...

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  7. yum! i have never heard of camelina oil before - i will have to look for this. where can i find it? i am always in the market for interesting oils. love the bread dip too.. mmm

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  8. I'm not familiar with this oil. Your last picture makes me want to dive right in Val.
    Sam

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  9. I'm with Sam. I'll be looking for camelina oil so that I can wow my diners!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  10. I adore ancient grains. They feel so wholesome.

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  11. there used to be this little italian rest that hubby and I loved, it's gone now, but they served the most delish olive oil/garlic/cheese/heat dipping sauce. I would add in just a pinch of sugar and it would be heavenly. Tried like crazy to recreate it at home--had some luck, but couldn't get the last couple of something something in there.

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  12. Never heard of camelina oil, but now I want to try it. Sounds like it's the perfect all-around cooking and dressing oil. Hope it makes its way south soon!

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  13. How interesting, Val! I've never heard of this grain before, but the oil sounds wonderful. :-)

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  14. Very interesting, Val! I am also guilty of ignorance here and I am glad I know about this product now.

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  15. First of all, thanks for your recent visits! My husband and I have been talking about a trip to Vancouver, but it's not quite on our list yet. We are finally going to Montreal next month, though, so I'm looking forward to our first trip to Canada.

    Interesting grain -- I've not heard of it before. It seems all those which are more healthy for us are those lost in the process of mass production. The bread dip sounds wonderful!

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  16. I have not heard of this oil before. It's so nice to try a variety of oils. The dips is very nice.

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  17. very informative - lots of info.

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  18. so simple yet so delicious! i am always on the lookout for new oils...

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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