Rapeseed oil: a Michelin-starred ingredient

Rapeseed oil: a Michelin-starred ingredient

by Great British Chefs 15 April 2016

It's being used more in home kitchens across the UK, but what about the nation's best restaurants? We ask five of our Michelin-starred and award-winning chefs how they incorporate rapeseed oil into their menus.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

You might be noticing a new trend in the restaurants of Britain. Rapeseed oil, a golden yellow, nutty, earthy cooking oil is starting to feature on menus. Thanks to its delicate flavour, nutritional benefits and versatility, more and more professional cooks are relying on it for all sorts of dishes. We talked to five of our chefs to find out why they like it, what it’s good for and some of the dishes they’re serving that highlight the oil’s incredible flavour.

Paul Welburn

‘Rapeseed oil is fast becoming a popular ingredient here, and with its nutritional benefits it’s a great alternative to olive oil. It has a great nutty flavour and the colour is incredible in emulsions and dressings. Don’t get me wrong, I love olive oil – but as a British ingredient rapeseed is certainly on the up.

‘It’s a very versatile ingredient and can be used in many different cuisines depending on the flavour profile you’re looking for. It’s great in desserts for adding a subtle, nutty flavour to dishes and great in fresh, light and earthy recipes, especially in the summer months where flavours are less heavy and rich. For example, I use it to dress my dish of Nutbourne heirloom tomato, avocado, smoked goat’s curd and pea shoots.’

Adam Gray

‘I use rapeseed oil because it is British, has a great flavour, is cost effective and has the added bonus of being high in mono-unsaturated fats and low in cholesterol. I don’t think it’s really suited to any one cuisine – it’s very diverse, so can be used in all sorts of ways. We use it in a dish of organic salmon that’s lightly poached in rapeseed oil and then flaked whilst warm over a salad of finely sliced raw baby fennel with a zesty lime dressing, natural yoghurt and watercress.’

Emily Watkins

‘We’re proud to focus our menu around seasonal and local produce, so we use rapeseed oil in place of olive oil. We use the cold-pressed variety for dressings and marinades and the refined version for everyday cooking.

‘It’s certainly becoming a more familiar flavour in British cooking. It has a distinct aroma but has never been traditionally used in the kitchen like sesame oil in Asia or olive oil in Italy until recently. One of my favourite dishes is our Cornish mackerel burger served in a beetroot muffin with a chicory and blood orange salad that’s finished in local rapeseed oil.’

Adam Stokes

‘We use single estate rapeseed oil as a finishing oil, due to its earthy and nutty flavours. I associate the flavour with this country – it encapsulates the terroir of the area. My food is very British, with all the main ingredients of my dishes coming from the UK and honed around the seasons, so rapeseed oil fits in perfectly. One dish I use it in is my Fallow venison tartare with beetroot, radish and a rapeseed oil emulsion.’

Adam Simmonds

‘I’ve just started using a local brand of rapeseed oil. The flavour works perfectly with my dishes and it’s local, so suits the modern British ethos of the restaurant. The oil has a very distinctive light, grassy and floral flavour and I use it to make smoked mayonnaise, serving it with our Waldorf salad and a slow-cooked pigeon dish.’