Today I will talk about my photographic discoveries and, of course, about a delicious recipe. Since I started this blog I have been received wonderful comments about my photos. I would like to thank my dear readers for all the support. I’m just an enthusiast that is in love with this art and all those sweet words motivate me even more.
Since I got my dSLR camera I've been practicing every day a lot. I’m using most of my time to learn about exposure and composition. I’m reading the book Plate to Pixel from Hélène Dujardin and this is helping me to improve my skills. Her award-winning blog, Tartelette, was the first food blog that I started to follow. I’m a huge fan of her work. If you just begin to photograph food, you should take a look in her book. It’s precious. I’m still understand how my camera works and I learned that photography it’s all about the light. As I use natural light, taking pictures at different times of the day, and also different places of my apartment, makes me realize how these important choices influence the final result.
I used to take pictures on the dining table, which is beside my dinner room window. After I tried all the possible places I found that the best spot is closer to my bedroom window, and the best time is at the Golden Hours before sunset. At these hours, the light touches slightly the food.
Now, about the recipe, I prepared a cherry tomato and champagne grape tart from the wonderful Food52. This site has an amazing recipe collection. When I saw this tart, I thought it would be a good and beautiful recipe to photograph. And I was right… The colors of the ingredients are so vivid. Unfortunately, September brings raining and cloudy days to Cleveland. Yesterday, I was worried about to take pictures under this gray condition, but I’m glad that my new favorite spot helped me to get good photos.
I really enjoyed making this tart. I’ve never prepared tart dough using a food processor. I was impressed with how easy and quick it was. Another unusual thing for me was the champagne grapes. I was fascinated with its flavor after baking. So juice and sweet, so good! I loved the combination between tomatoes, grape, rosemary from the crust and the soft pecorino cheese. Everything worked wonderfully well.
Cherry Tomato and Champagne Grape Tart
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus a bit more for brushing)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan
Ice water (3-4 tbs - it will depend)
1 ½ Cherry tomatoes (gold and red)
½ Champagne grapes
2 ounces fresh pecorino - the soft kind not the hard aged stuff
a pinch of salt or two
Cut up the butter and put it in the freezer. Measure out your flour, parmesan, rosemary and put them in the food processor. When the butter is VERY cold, add it into the processor and pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Start adding ice water a tablespoon at a time and pulse until the dough just comes together. Remove it from the processor and pat it into a disk, wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge for half an hour.
Wash your tomatos and grapes, and cut the tomatoes in half. Line a 9" tart pan with removeable bottom with parchment. Heat the oven to 375.
Get the tart dough out and roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick. Lay it over the pan and let it settle into place, gently press it into the pan edges. You can roll your rolling pin across the pan to cut the dough. You will have extra - wrap that back up and save it, you'll think of something to make with it! Dock the dough with a fork and blind bake it for 10 minutes.
Remove the crust and arrange the tomatoes cut side down - you can do it in an orderly fashion if you like - I didn't. I wanted mine to look more like a tomato mosh pit. Leave some space between the tomatoes - then sprinkle those cute little grapes around to fill the spaces. Lightly brush tomatoes and crust edges with olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and back into the oven for 25 more minutes. Break the pecorino into small hunks and arrange them around in the tart, and into the oven again for 10 more minutes. Let the tart cool before serving.