by Jane Rodmell for All The Best Fine Foods, a ‘Certified Good Food Fighter

A wonderful unique oil with valuable culinary and healthful properties has just arrived at All The Best. It is produced from camelina, an ancient oilseed that originated in parts of northern Europe and Central Asia and now is grown on the prairies by three enterprising farmers, Dan Vandenhurk, Ron Emde and Colin Rosengren, in south east Saskatchewan near a town called Midale.

The cold-pressed oil carries a light, earthy fragrance and tastes slightly nutty, making it ideal for use in marinades and dressings, particularly for dishes with an Asian twist. It has a smoke point of 475°F (240°C) which means that it is also excellent in cooking at moderate-to-high levels of heat in stir-frying or sautéing.

In addition, the health benefits of camelina oil are remarkable. It’s a polyunsaturated oil rich in good Omega 3 fatty acids and with high levels of Vitamin E. Unlike some other seed and nut oils, the high level of natural Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and allows for a longer shelf life of twelve to fifteen months without refrigeration.

We use Three Farmers Camelina Oil in the following Sesame Ginger Dressing tossed with vermicelli noodles and vegetables for a salad and as a dip for salad rolls with delicious results.

Sesame Ginger Dressing and Dip

1/3 cup (75 ml) tahini or natural unsweetened peanut butter
¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce
3 tbsp (45ml) sweet chili sauce
3 tbsp (45ml) mirin
2 tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar or palm sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) finely chopped gingerroot
2 tsp (10 ml) finely chopped garlic
½ tsp (2 ml) sambal oelek
1/3 cup (75ml) Camelina Oil.

In a food processor, combine tahini, soy sauce, chili sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger, garlic and sambal oelek. With motor running, slowly drizzle in oil through the feed tube. Add about ¼ cup (60 ml) water. Add more water, 1 tbsp (15ml) at a time, to make sauce a thick creamy consistency.

Makes 13/4 cups (425ml)

Adapted from All The Best Recipes by Jane Rodmell, Robert Rose Inc.

All the best,