Oils, vinegars and mustards
Some of our favorite meals include special ingredients such as flavored vinegars, fruit and spice infused mustards, and nut oils for the basis. Many can be purchased at the grocery store or import stores, others you must travel to France for, or make yourself. I use flavored vinegars daily. Here is the recipe for Raspberry vinegar. My all time favorite vinegar is the lovely Vinaigre Noix (walnut vinegar). When combined with walnut oil and herbs it makes an exquisite salad dressing. When you visit France, forget about bringing home Champagne, fill your suitcase with bottles of Vinaigre Noix there won’t be a limit on it either! If you can’t get to France to buy it, you can make it also. I’ve used the basic recipe for raspberries and exchanged them for walnuts. You can either use ripe walnuts, or better yet – on the longest day (June 21) harvest green walnuts, cut them in fourths and put them in the vinegar, after 6 months, they will have disappeared, but the vinegar will be a lovely brown color and taste divine. When I visited the Indonesian import store, I found coconut vinegar, I can’t wait to try that.
Cinnamon mustard is also a fantastic find from France, I use that often, as well as casis (black current ) mustard, and raspberry mustard. Basically, you can make your own mustards, or buy a nice mild grainy mustard and add a raspberry puree. For the cinnamon mustard also, use a mild grainy mustard and add as much cinnamon as you like, it is quite a thick brown paste with a definite cinnamon flavor.
At the moment, Sesame oil is my all time favorite oil, it has such a nice nutty flavor. I also have a very lovely lemon flavored sunflower oil that makes a nice light salad dressing or I use when making a “lemon ricotta”, and other spreads.