Monday, July 9, 2012

Salade Niçoise, take three

Following two failed attempts at photographing salade Niçoise, which is one of our favourites around here, I did a very small amount of research into how to photograph food.

Here's what I posted last time.

Yuck. Think I'll stick with a good old PB&J.

Coincidentally, on Sunday evening as Steve and I wilted in the heat, I realized that we had all the fixings in the fridge for salade Niçoise. It's a perfect summertime meal: packed full of nutrients and served cold, so it won't heat up the house (assuming you've boiled the eggs and potatoes, and lightly steamed the beans at a time when the house is not already stifling).

This time, following a couple of blogs I read, I decided to photograph incrementally. I didn't apply all the tips I read (I have no intention of building a light box or becoming a professional food photographer; I just want my cookbook to look more appetizing). 

And here's what I got this time:
That looks much more appetizing to me. Hope it does to you, too.
(There are potatoes under there - they are kind of the main ingredient!)
UPDATE: I just read that genuine salade Niçoise does not include any cooked vegetables!
That is the picture I'll use in the cookbook, but I actually like the following one better. 

But it doesn't include the dressing or the eggs, so it isn't really accurate.
It does, on the other hand, show the potatoes, so maybe it's more accurate after all?
Because I wasn't sure if the salad would photograph well with the dressing on it, I photographed the dressing separately also.

I wish I'd started my herb garden early enough to have fresh herbs for this!
And, for your patience, here is the recipe we use for salade Niçoise. Last time I served this, everyone who tried it asked for the recipe. It is delicious served with crusty slices of baguette or a nutty multi-grain loaf.

Salade Niҫoise (pronounced nee-swahz)

Cover with cold water, bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and just simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender:
6 medium potatoes or 8 “new” small potatoes
4 eggs (in shells)
Rinse potatoes and eggs in cold water, drain, then refrigerate. The longer, the better. The potatoes will have better texture if they're allowed to chill thoroughly. 

½ red onion, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 cans tuna
15 black olives
2 cups green beans – either frozen beans thawed or fresh beans lightly steamed (fresh tastes better)
Chilled potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
Shake in shaker:
2/3 cup olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp dried parsley
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
Combine all ingredients, EXCEPT the eggs. For a salad that looks like my "styled" picture, line the bowl with lettuce leaves, then layer the ingredients, rather than tossing them.

Garnish with sliced eggs. (Because of food sensitivities in our house, I usually keep the eggs in a separate bowl for people to add as desired.)

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