Food, Folks, & Photos

I've been taking photos of nearly all our meals lately (so long as there's good light) in an attempt to begin to understand the basics of food photography. Last weekend, I asked two professional photographers what camera they'd recommend for this purpose and both answered, only, that taking pictures of food is terribly difficult. Yikes!

Here is my best attempt so far--yesterday's lunch, Avocado & Herb Salad with Chevre Dressing & Pepitas. The dish turned out well, as did the photo, I think. Of course, it's all about timing--getting the shot before the greens wilt, the dressing runs, and the avocados brown. But I'm a stickler for realism, not perfection; in fact, I'd prefer that everything be the tiniest bit off.

When my book is published, I feel quite strongly that it should include lots of pictures. As I may not have quite as much pull with my first book publication--and photos are pricey--I worry that I may have to take the camera in my own hands, as some other writers have done. Better get practicing!

Here's a loose recipe for the salad pictured. It's rich! And you may be able to divide one avocado between three diners--or even four--if you're following it with something substantial.

Avocado & Herb Salad with Chevre Dressing & Pepitas

Two handfuls of parsley and cilantro, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 handful pepitas, toasted in a dry skillet over low heat until puffed and crisp

2 T chevre
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. olive oil
½ clove garlic, minced

Mix chevre, vinegar, lemon, oil, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the herbs among the serving dishes and arrange avocado slices prettily on top. Divide dressing among the dishes, sprinkle with pepitas, and add a few grinds of pepper. Enjoy!

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