When you reach for a bottle of oil to mix up a homemade vinaigrette, your first choice is probably olive oil. There’s a reason this oil is a go-to in nearly every kitchen: its flavor can range from mild to strong, making it a home cook’s flexible friend. But olive oil has its limitations. You may have heard you don’t want to use it for high-heat cooking. Olive oil alternatives like coconut oil and butter are just as likely to burn, and soy and canola oils, while great for frying, aren’t so tasty in a salad.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could buy just one oil to meet all your kitchen needs?
Put avocado oil on your grocery list and try it out in these different preparations to see just how versatile avocados — and their byproducts — can be.
1. STOVE-TOP COOKING
Avocado oil has a uniquely high smoke point — higher than virtually any other plant oil at around 520 degrees Fahrenheit. This is perfect for cooking meat at high heat, like on a grill! Use it in your marinades, mixing avocado oil with some garlic or your favorite spice blend, before firing up the grill to cook a steak or rack of ribs.
Avocado oil pairs wonderfully with oven-baked vegetables. Drizzle the oil over green beans, celery, carrots, and beets in the oven, then roast them with your favorite spices until tender.
Lots of people have a hard time getting enough veggies in their daily diet. If you’re one of them, try switching up your salad routine by mixing up some homemade vinaigrettes that use avocado oil as a base. With the growing number of vinegars on grocery store shelves — white wine vinegar, cider, balsamic, champagne, and an array of fruit-flavored and infused vinegars are just a few of your many choices — you can easily have a different dressing every day of the week! Vary spices, salts, and peppers, as well as fresh herbs, as your vinaigrette add-ins.
4. MAKING CONDIMENTS
Compared to other popular oils like olive or coconut, avocado is exceptionally mild in flavor, making it versatile for use in a number of dishes. It’s a little bit nutty, and a little bit buttery, allowing the flavors of other ingredients to shine through. Much like the fruit it comes from, avocado oil has a smooth, creamy texture that’s incredible in homemade mayo and other oil-based sauces.
Making mayo in the kitchen can seem like an expert-level challenge, but don’t feel intimidated: it’s amazingly easy and requires no fancy tools. Use a wooden spoon to slowly (very, very slowly) mix drizzled avocado oil into an egg yolk, thinning the blend with a touch of vinegar or lemon juice as needed, until it becomes the glossy sandwich spread that you know and love.
If mayo seems a bit out of your league, you can still use avocado oil with your favorite herbs and spices to make hummus, bruschetta, or chimichurri. Give it a try! You may just find that after a few days, avocado oil replaces all your regular cooking oils.