We did this shoot months ago and never got around to posting it. The idea of this shoot was to test red/green combinations and to shoot a vegetable-based dish. It was fine overall, though the green beans were a bit underdone and overly crunchy.
The Food (Jhan)
Inspired again by the late season bounty at our local farmers market I sought out side dish recipes that would be both a hearty and healthy accompaniment to a garlic roasted chicken. This salad recipe with the red peppers, mint, shallots and sweet cherry tomatoes hit the spot paired with our juicy, garlicky, chicken. It also really showcased the flavor of the the fresh green beans and the smokey sweetness of the roasted peppers.
3/4 lb green beans
2 Red Bell Peppers , roasted, skinned, seeded and cut into strips
1/2 pound cherry or pear tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp mint, chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1/4 cup EVOO
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Roast peppers in usual manner, prepare for salad
2. In small bowl toss - shallot, garlic, vinegars and salt. Set aside for 10 min. then add in EVOO, pepper and salt to taste.
3. Cook green beans in boiling, salted water about 4-6 min - until just tender. Drain and cool to room temp.
4. Combine all veggies and herbs in a salad bowl. Pour shallot mixture over and toss. spread Almonds over top and serve.
Recipe from Food and Wine magazine.
I wanted very simple homey plating for this dish, but ended up being attracted to the rather fancy plate that Jhan had bought. I think it works well with the dish, but the blue and brown place mat doesn't really work at all. I'm not sure what I was thinking.
As far as food styling goes, simple dish - simple styling. About the only thing I did was to add some salt and pepper ("too much pepper" says Jhan) to the dish for texture.
The Lighting and Photography
On this case, I shot a single 580EX through a reflector to the right and slightly behind the dish with a piece of white foam core to the left and behind the dish to act as a fill light.
I think the close up shots, in particular, turned out well (partly because the blue and brown mat is less visible). There are nice highlights on the beans and tomatoes, but the shadows aren't too dark. Overall, I think it looks very appealing.