Thursday, 10 April 2008

Ways of saving on oil

I've been compiling my must-have ingredients list for the book and thinking about oil. I generally have three on the go which seems like a bit of an extravagance but here's how I justify it.

A cheap basic oil for frying which doesn't need to be olive oil. I personally like grapeseed or sunflower oil but you could use a basic vegetable oil if you were really trying to keep costs to a minimum.

A gutsy olive oil for dishes where it really makes a difference. Like a Mediterranean style vegetable stew such as a ratatouille or a pasta sauce that relies for its flavour on oil. The cheapest place to buy this isn't necessarily a supermarket (surprise, surprise). My local health food store has litre bottles (see pic) for £4.99.

A posh oil for drizzling which is admittedly a bit of an indulgence but if you really want the flavour of pure oil over, say, some really great tomatoes it's worth getting a good one. Buy it in small amounts (250 or 500ml) and store it in the dark (in a cupboard, not in the fridge)

You can also cut the cost of your salad dressings by whisking in a spoonful of water once they've thickened. (So for a basic dressing for two that would be 1 dsp wine vinegar, 3-4 dsp olive oil (the medium quality one, not the posh oil) and 1 dsp water) Cuts the calorie count too ;-)


Rhubarb Fool said...

Just wanted to say this is an absolutely terrific blog! It's great to see something that is about saving money while still keeping up the quality of what we eat - which is something we all try to do but books and tv chefs these days hardly ever touch on it.

Looking forward to the book!


Fiona Beckett said...

Thanks, rhubarb fool. Enjoy what I've seen of your blog too. That Yorkshire curd tart looks fantastic!