Kitchen essentials – oils

Over the years I have found that there are some store cupboard ingredients that I couldn’t do without. I keep them to hand right next to where I’m cooking. There’s a big bottle of olive oil for everyday use, usually 100% extra virgin (although you can’t be sure of the true origin of extra virgin olive oil I hear), and a few ‘posh’ single estate ones for drizzling onto salads or just dipping bread into. A friend recently gave me a bottle of Olio extravergine di Oliva from Fattoria La Vialla from a beautiful farm in Tuscany. It’s made using biodynamic agriculture which is organic with bells on. The taste is sublime, and far too good to cook with, so I’m being very frugal with it.

Alongside the olive oil, I keep walnut oil for drizzling onto toasted goats cheese salad, sunflower oil for use in baking (like the Carrot cake), and sesame oil for salad dressings and oriental cooking.

I also bought a bottle of rape seed oil about two years ago, but I hardly use it. I’m not sure why.

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