Product review: Vilux hazelnut oil


posted by on Reviews

1 comment


Lately, I’ve been all about comfort-eating, and I haven’t quite pinned down what the catalyst for this calamity is:  could it be that we’re one World Cup game away from mass hysteria & a national depression after one of the greatest highs in our country’s history?  Or maybe it’s that winter has decided it’s time to quit being polite for the nice visitors & descend upon us like an angry Greek god upon their nemeses?  It could be that I’m newly single and having a hard time chewing on anything other than my own misery & complex carbohydrates…  Perhaps it’s all of the above; but be that as it may, I’m embracing it.  The Bikini-Readiness Program has been completely abandoned for the moment, and all ideas of health-related blog posts are being ignored.  Deal with it, my lovelies – we’ll get through this together!

So, Thursday evening I had the pleasure of hosting an impromptu dinner-cum-photo shoot with their loveliness’ Dizzy & Polly Linguist. I’m trying to get my food styling mojo back, as it’s been a wee while since my last foray.  I also connected with my good friend Darryn Lazarus of Sagra Food & Wine Merchants who sent me away with a bottle of prized hazelnut oil* after a visit, so it was a truly congruent occasion.  I’m giving myself a double word score for congruent, okay? Boom!

Your selection of mushrooms really makes this dish, so be sure you get your hands on some special & different varieties beforehand.  The major retailers in SA have a good selection of fresh varieties now, and if you’re in Cape Town like me, your choices are endless as to sources.  My two faves have to be from the folk at the Biscuit Mill on a Saturday morning – the mushrooms skewers they make on their little griddle are reason enough to get on down there, but they also sell a wonderful selection & will tell you magical stories about them if you let them – and the other is going hunting for them in the Newlands forest with a guide.  Gary Goldman is a serious fungi aficionado and knows his enoki from his shiitake, and will take you on an early morning hunt for porcini the size of a small baby.  No spice!

What you’ll need… (serves 4)

½ bag dried linguine

3-4 cups of mixed mushrooms, torn/sliced/whole/ as you please

1 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic, smashed

1/3 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 lemon, zested

½  tbsp hazelnut oil

Salt & coarse pepper

Grana Padano shavings (Parmigiano Reggiano is too bold a flavour for this dish, so stay away)

And then…

Get a big pot of salted water on the boil.  Once at a rolling boil, do the twisty thing with your linguine like we did here & throw it in the pot.  Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan & add your mushrooms.  Toss them gently until they start to get some good colour on them.  Add the garlic, parsley & lemon zest & continue to toss well to incorporate all those crazy flavours.  Pull the mushies off the heat & set them aside.

Once the linguine is al denté, drain it immediately in a colander & transfer it back to the pot it boiled in.  Pour the mushies over the pasta along with the hazelnut oil & season with salt and pepper.  If you have rubber-tip tongs those would be great right now, but two spoons work just as well to incorporate all the ingredients together.  Transfer immediately to bowls & serve with grana padano shavings.

* Hazelnut oil is a very unique ingredient to use, although it can be daunting to the lay-cook.  Use it sparingly in salad dressings, in baked fruit desserts and even drizzled into steamed puddings.

I used Vilux hazelnut oil, a brand synonymous with quality oils, vinegar & mustards.  They’re available through Sagra Food & Wine Merchants, who stock a vast selection of specialist food ingredients.  Contact them here.

Tags: ,

1 comment

Trackback e pingback

  1. Wild mushroom forage – Newlands forest « Chef Privé
    [...] Gary runs The Mushroom Factory, and supplies wild mushrooms to local restaurants & cafes. You will also find his …

Leave a Reply