My husband is a good man. I have said this before.
Yesterday on impulse he spent some appalling amount of money buying fresh swordfish, which he promised to cook tonight. A good thing, since I was wiped out from several hours of gardening this afternoon. He starts the fish while I’m up taking a shower.
For some unknown reason, despite an opened bottle of olive oil, an opened bottle of grapeseed oil, and an opened bottle of almond oil sitting on the counter, he decided to go into my cupboard and get out the brand-new bottle of walnut oil I’d bought on sale and was keeping unopened to help its shelf life last a bit longer, and didn’t really know what to do with it. (He’s always doing things like this: opens the brand-new bottle of walnut oil in order to smear half a teaspoon on the fish, buying a bottle of Karo light corn syrup–yuck–to use two tablespoons in a recipe, stuff like that.) So now I have to figure out what to do with walnut oil.
God bless the internet, of course.
First of all, it’s something that people with nut allergies need to avoid. (Fairly obvious, I guess, but there it is.)
In cosmetic use, it seems to be a good carrier oil for massage or skin creams, and absorbs well. The refined stuff has very little odor. Newdirectionsaromatics.com says that walnut oil “is an excellent emollient with moisturizing properties for dry, aged, irritated skin. In aromatherapy circles, Walnut Oil is also credited with being a balancing agent for the nervous system. ” Commenters on that site praised its use to soothe sunburn, or as a slightly astringent oil for oily but mature skin. Oddly, neither mountainroseherbs.com nor naturesgift.com, my two go-to places for such things, seem to carry it or have anything to say about it. Other sites suggest that it is good as an antiparisitic or antifungal, for treating wounds, eczema, dandruff, and so forth. Some sites say it has a shelf life of six months to a year; others say three to six years. Several suggest refrigerating it after it’s opened.
In cooking, or rather non-cooking, it’s widely suggested as an oil for salad dressings or to toss pasta in and other such uses, since it sometimes gets bitter upon cooking and loses its delicate flavor. It’s high in omega-3′s and antioxidants.
And interestingly enough, according to Wikipedia, painters in the Renaissance used it as a paint thinner and brush cleaner due to it’s non-yellow tint.
ETA–okay, it was expensive, but that dinner was worth every penny. Delicious. In addition to the fish, I’d bought some boneless chicken breasts (fresh, organic, free range, which I don’t do often) and we marinaded them in lemon juice, oregano, olive oile, and garlic and grilled them so the kids would have something they like and we’d have sandwich/chicken fajita/who knows makings for the next couple of days and can freeze anything we don’t eat by Tuesday…Oh My God, the difference in flavor between your basic grocery store chicken and this organic free range stuff was unbelievable. Unbelievable. Wow.