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