You may already be using them without knowing it: orange, tangerine, lemon, or even grapefruit essences are part of a large family of essential oils! But these are not the only ones that can be used in the kitchen.
In his book Essential oils and floral waters in the kitchenin Editions de Terran, Valerie Kupilar tells us how plants with their essential oils, aromatic hydrosols and floral waters can be used to improve many recipes.
“In the kitchen, edible essential oils allow you to restore ephemeral spirits,” says Valerie Kupiljar. “Thus, orange essential oil is an accurate reflection of volatile aroma that occurs when rubbing the zest of the fruit“. The culinary creator has been fascinated with organic essential oils in the kitchen, in part to show “what exists natural alternative to flavors“.
For nearly twenty years now, he has offered pride of place to “those little bottles that contain the fruit of the passion of master distillers and researchers in the field of aromatherapy.”
“Essential oil brings something fresh, intense, as if we are working on a “living” plant or flower. When you open a bottle of lavender essential oil, you can smell the sun-warmed flowers that are fragrant when you walk near them in the summer. In this form it easier to flavor baked goods than to integrate lavender flowers, the flavor is clearer, richer“.
However, essential oils must be used with great care, and this “designed for experienced chefs“, the specialist warns.
Essential oils in the kitchen, what precautions?
“For culinary use it is absolutely necessary buy organic and edible essential oils“, insists Valerie Kupiljar. “It is important to use essential oils from certified organic farming (Ecocert, mention Nature & Progrès, Simples or Demeter) whose cultivation, distillation and packaging quality will meet food standards.” These extracts can be found in organic stores or direct from growers at organic fairs and exhibitions.
Cooking recipe: “Strictly observe the indicated dosages”
Essential oils highly concentrated substances which require full compliance with the dosages indicated in the recipes, as well as the way they are included in the drug. “Support matters a lot : never add drops of essential oil directly to water, infusion, broth… In the kitchen, essential oils must be included in a fatty or sweet environment“.
There is no standard dosage because “each essential oil has its own power“. Therefore, it is necessary to strictly follow the instructions in the recipes, at the risk of get an inedible dish if too many drops get into it.
The specialist also reminds that “essential oils should be kept out of the reach of children and should not be never use in infants, children under 5 years of age, pregnant or lactating women, allergic or sensitive people“.
Sabayon with asparagus and turmeric
To start the holiday, the author offers us a recipe for asparagus, in which “the smell of orange or tangerine peel is combined with a subtle note of turmeric.”
Photo: Claudia Albisser Hund
Ingredients for 2-3 persons:
- 500 grams of green asparagus
- 200 ml liquid vegetable cream (your choice: almond, oatmeal, hemp, soy, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Ground pepper
- 2 drops sweet orange or red tangerine essence
Peel the asparagus from mid-height down with a vegetable peeler. Cut off the bottom parts and cut them into slices. Place them, along with the tips of the asparagus, in the basket of a thick-bottomed pot for gentle steaming. Count about 10 to 15 minutes, test for doneness by piercing them with the tip of a knife. Place the asparagus slices in a blender with half the liquid vegetable cream and blend until smooth.
Pour into a small saucepan, add the remaining liquid vegetable cream, turmeric, drops of your chosen essence, and olive oil. Salt and lightly heat, stirring.
Pour hot cream into the bottom of the soup bowls, spread the asparagus tips cut into pieces. Turn on the pepper mill, try it right away.
vegetable garden cake
We continue the tasting with a recipe for a savory vegetable pie that “will accompany sunny days on the terrace, at a picnic, at a festive buffet or for lunch, cold or hot.” Here, “Great green basil essential oil sets the tone for a fresh and elegant tone, announcing the season of fresh basil well in advance.”
Photo: Claudia Albisser Hund
Ingredients for 6 people in a 24 x 10 cm baking dish:
- 125 g liquid vegetable cream, rice, millet, etc.) or 1 vegetable yogurt
- 50 g soft olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 25 g white almond powder
- 60 g whole grain or half whole rice flour
- 60 g chickpea flour
- 1 S. in with. gluten-free organic baking powder
- 60 g carrots
- 60 g zucchini
- 40 g shelled peas
- 20 g sunflower seeds
- A dozen black olives
- 4 drops tall green basil essential oil, or 12 drops lemon essence, or 3 drops sweet fennel essential oil.
Mix yogurt with olive oil and drops of basil essential oil.
big green. Add eggs, then ground almonds, flour and pudding.
Cut carrots and zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut into thin half rings. Add all the vegetables to the dough with seeds
Pour into a baking dish lined with ecological baking paper and bake at 180°C (degree 6) for about 35 minutes. To test doneness, pierce with the tip of a knife.
Lemon clafoutis and its variant with geranium
And, to end on a high note, a revised clafoutis recipe. “The very light aroma of geranium is perfect for the taste of cherries, especially if it’s a sub-sweet variety.” Valerie Kupillar suggests using homemade plant-based milk with almond puree, or using a vegetable rice or hemp drink with two generous tablespoons of almond puree.
Photo: Claudia Albisser Hund
Ingredients for 4 persons:
- 150 g whole grain or semi-processed rice flour
- 50 g white almond powder
- 80 g light cane sugar
- 2 eggs
- 50 g white almond puree
- 35 cl of water
- 400 g cherries
- 10 drops lemon essence or 2 drops rose geranium essential oil
- Non-hydrogenated organic vegetable margarine for greasing
Heat up the water; as soon as it boils, remove from heat. Dissolve the almond puree in a bowl, adding water little by little to get the almond milk.
Pour rice flour, almond powder, golden cane sugar into a salad bowl, break an egg in the middle, mix, adding a little almond milk that you just prepared, and a drop of essential oil. Stir with a spatula and continue adding vegetable milk.
Preheat oven to 180°C (floor 6). Lightly grease a glass cake pan. Peel the cherries that you have spread out at the bottom of the plate. Pitted, they retain juice better, and the pit seems to impart a slight almond flavor. Stir the batter vigorously before pouring over the cherries.
Place immediately in the oven to prevent the dough from settling. In the heat of the oven, it immediately seizes and swells.
Expect about 35 minutes to cook.