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Posts Tagged: cook book photographer


25
May 15

Wood Sorrel – Weed to Salad

My edible garden is accidentally on purpose filled with wood sorrel. This south facing slope at the forest’s edge is a hodge-podge of garden theories. I follow Lee Reich’s method of mulching to suppress weeds. But I also follow the Gaia’s Garden approach of letting things grow in organized chaos. And since I haven’t found a great source for organic compost, I don’t mulch as often as I ought. In some ways this garden is weeds suppressing other weeds. But I curate the weeds.

wood sorrel

Wood sorrel in the garden

Barberries I attack with a crowbar. Wisteria is clipped or pulled on sight. Periwinkles run rampant and the bees appreciate their early flowers. Clover is a boon for its nitrogen-fixing root nodules in the soil.

My toddler and her Nana love to nibble on wood sorrel, so it stays. Its delicate heart-shaped leaves bend and nod in every corner of the garden. It looks a lot like clover, but wood sorrel is a sour, lemony tasting green that doubles as a potent culinary herb.

Clipping the plants from where they were growing too closely to pear trees the other day, I gathered it for the kitchen, rather than the compost. I turned to Foraging & Feasting, a beautifully illustrated book about wild edibles, and made sure there are no poisonous look-alikes. (There are not.) Then I looked for recipes in my cookbooks.

wood sorrel from a garden

bunches of wood sorrel

Bunches of just picked wood sorrel

wood sorrel

ingredients for a spring salad

Ingredients for a spring salad

There are many recipes for sorrel cream sauce, sorrel and goat cheese tarts, and sorrel beverages. Apparently – although I have not tested this – cultivated sorrel and wood sorrel are so similar in flavor as to be interchangeable. I will do a taste-test when I get my hands on some farmed sorrel this summer. The delicate leaves of wild sorrel seem to me best suited to salads.

This weekend, I made wood sorrel salad, and I made a version of Ottolenghi’s lima beans with sorrel, feta and lemon.

For the salad: torn leaves of fresh young lettuce (I used red leaf), fresh dill, a big bunch of wood sorrel leaves & flowers, and since they were blooming, chive flowers.
For the dressing: olive oil, aged white balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a teaspoon of fig preserves, a teaspoon of stone ground mustard, one pressed clove of garlic, a wee bit of diced red onion, salt.
Garnish: Toasted sunflower seeds and grated aged parmesan.

Wood sorrel recipe ingredients

Deliciously sour notes of Ottolenghi: Sumac, feta, dill, lemon & wood sorrel

lima beans and sorrel in pan

Lima beans, chives from the garden, and sorrel in a pan

wood sorrel chive flower salad

Wood sorrel, young lettuce & chive flower salad

This was delicious. We ate the sour & sweet salad for lunch with some of the sorrel & lima bean dish I had left over from the day before. I made sure my husband got the single sorrel flower I harvested, and my daughter talked about that flower all through lunch.

 


5
May 15

Apple Slaw with Onion Seedlings

This morning, while planting out seedlings in my edible garden, I discovered a patch of volunteers. A taste-test revealed them to be onion seedlings, and they had clearly sprung up from the spent seed heads I left in the garden over winter, to feed the birds. I am grateful to these volunteers for planting themselves – it’s less work for me, and it’s a clear indication of what thrives in my particular plot of partly shaded soil.

I have a patch of calendula seedlings – offspring from a single plant given to me at Field Apothecary a couple of years ago when I photographed them for Edible Hudson Valley. I will let the calendula grow as they are. My alpine strawberries, aka fraises du bois, are popping up all over the garden. I imagine the creatures who stole the fruit left a few seeds behind where they ate them. I am moving these tiny plants one by one into a brand new dedicated (and protected) garden bed – they are just too precious to share with wildlife.

The onion seedlings are growing too densely to leave alone, and I don’t have room for 100 onion plants in my already crowded garden. So, I pulled a bunch of them, washed them, cut off their roots, and added them to an apple-napa cabbage slaw. Micro greens!

onion seedlings

Onion seedlings thinned from my spring garden

apple slaw

Apple & napa cabbage slaw with onion seedlings


3
May 15

Ramp Butter & Quail Eggs on Toast

Ramp season means spring is on; and they are a rare treat. I did an online search for the most enticing ramp recipe and found one by April Bloomfield from her new book, A Girl and Her Greens. Sauteed & raw ramps, butter, anchovies, lemon juice & zest, salt, hot pepper, mixed and spread on toast, topped with a fried quail egg: I had to try it!

Luckily, my friends at the Tivoli General have a farm where they raise quail, and they bake bread daily for sandwiches in their cafe. A quick trip across the river and I had all my ingredients. This recipe is truly delicious as is, and the ramp butter recipe leaves enough extra for other uses…I imagine melting it over boiled new potatoes, and it would be luscious served hot on pasta.

And then, since I love vegetable recipes that are not strictly vegetarian, I popped over to the Golden Notebook and ordered Chef Bloomfield’s cookbook. I can’t wait to see the rest of this book.

ramps, quail eggs, bread

The ingredients for ramp butter, toast & quail eggs – a recipe inspired by April Bloomfield

ramps and quail eggsquail eggschopped rampschopped rampsramp butter

ramp butter toast with quail egg

Plated ramp butter toast with fried quail egg


20
Apr 15

Broccoli rabe pesto, starting seeds & the first lakeside grill of the season

This past week I shot a campaign for Andy Boy’s broccoli rabe. That’s right, an advertising campaign for a vegetable. It’s one of my favorite green vegetables, they are one of the best clients a food photographer could have, and we work hard and have a good time. I came home with bunches of the beautiful stuff, and set to work making broccoli rabe pesto, right from their recipe page. I was going to bring some to our first lakeside cookout of the season, but we ate the batch I made (although there is lots more in the freezer). It’s one step more complicated than traditional basil pesto, because you parboil the rabe, but then you reserve that green water and boil your pasta in it, and I love that.

Back at home, the week was filled with starting spring seeds – rabe seeds! a gift from Barb Fritz, a prop stylist I work with a lot – and flowers for the pollinators. Then we grilled, and found a tadpole at the lake.

broccoli rabe pesto

Ingredients for broccoli rabe pesto

broccoli rabe

The heady smell of fresh rabe (aka rapini) has me dreaming of Italy, and of ancient Rome

broccoli rabe pesto

Blanching rabe; reserved green water for boiling pasta; finished pesto; a pear tree in bud; starting seeds for the garden

bbq at a lake

children look for tadpoles

Finding the first tadpole of the season


2
Apr 15

Roasted Root Vegetables with Capers & Lemon

One more recipe – this time roasted root vegetables – from Ottolenghi’s Plenty, and I’ll move to another book, I promise I will try. This is an incredible way to use up the last of the winter vegetables kicking around. Chop and roast, in progression, parsnips, red onions, olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes. Roughly chop capers, and whisk them into lemon juice, maple syrup, and Dijon. Don’t leave this hanging around on your counter through the day or I’m sure it will disappear quickly. The bite sized pieces are too enticing.

Yam roasted root vegetablescut garlic and fennel roasted root vegetablesParsnips roasted root vegetablesroot vegetables roasted root vegetables


31
Mar 15

Caramelized, Roasted, Bitter, Funky, Sweet: Salad

Is it a salad when it is roasted and drenched with melted cheese? Probably not, but it is delicious, and I’m sure it counts as two vegetable servings. This dish is a play on one I found in Ottolenghi’s Plenty. I didn’t have endives and Gruyere, but I did have radicchios and Taleggio, so I made due. It’s so simple: Cut, caramelize, cover with sliced cheese, bake, add bread crumbs & thyme, eat while piping hot.

Radicchio SaladradicchioRoasted Radicchio Saladcut thyme on a boardTaleggio cheeseRoasted Radicchio Salad

 


30
Mar 15

Cucumber, Smashed Garlic & Ginger Salad

I always feel grounded and balanced when I’m eating lots of salad, and I’m always looking for new twists. This one, inspired from Ottolenghi’s Plenty, is sure to be repeated. The basic idea: Chop cucumber & red onion and toss into a vinaigrette of smashed ginger & garlic, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and top with roasted sesame seeds. There’s a little salt, sugar, and cilantro in there to balance out the flavors.

Cucumber SaladCucumber Salad Cucumber Salad


5
Mar 15

Courtney Lapresi, MasterChef Season 5 Cookbook

Last year, in a top secret studio setting, I photographed the winner of MasterChef Season 5, Courtney Lapresi. Her cookbook, Everyday Fancy, will be published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang in May 2015. Courtney was such fun to photograph. She truly shines and the camera loves her. I can’t wait to see the rest of the book, for now, here is the cover.

Courtney Lapresi cookbook cover


10
Feb 15

Against the Grain Gluten Free cookbook

I am excited to announce the publication of Against the Grain: extraordinary gluten-free recipes made from real, all-natural ingredients. The book was written by Nancy Cain and is published by Clarkson Potter. I will be adding interior shots to my main website soon, but for now, here is the cover… a gluten-free breakfast pizza. Even a gluten-lover like me loved this!

Against the Grain cookbook cover


22
Jan 15

Making Fresh Pasta

It’s really this simple: eggs, flour, elbow grease and there is fresh pasta for lunch. The most comforting of comfort food.

flour and eggs for fresh pasta


18
Jan 15

Mackerel, Mayo, Crackers

Mackerel crackers mayo


15
Oct 14

Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook

For the better part of October, I have been working on shooting a cookbook for The Hot Bread Kitchen. This not-for-profit bakery trains low-income, foreign-born women in the culinary art of artisan baking. Many of the breads these women bake are hard-to find regional specialties: buttery, flaky Moroccan m’smen; sesame topped Persian nan-e qandi; Armenian lavash crackers; and all kinds of challah. I could eat their heritage corn tortillas every day. I watched two women bake batch after batch from soaked whole corn kernels, and the flavor is unparallelled.  The Hot Bread Kitchen cookbook will be published by Clarkson Potter in 2015. For now, you can sample their breads at these markets.

Hot bread kitchen tortillas


22
May 14

Rahm Fama’s Meat & Potatoes Cookbook

It’s been a long wait, but we are close now… I shot this book for chef Rahm Fama about two years ago. It will be published this July 1, by Clarkson Potter, and may much eating of meat, potatoes, and amazing side dishes commence.

This book is different than a lot of cookbooks out there. It is heavy on the food & recipes, and light on the dishware, meaning…. most of the book was shot almost from above, using just a few different plates, on a few different tables. The food is truly the star. I will post example shots after the pub date.

Rahm Fama Meat & Potatoes cookbook


21
May 14

Gluten-Free on a Shoestring

I just wrapped a 6-day cookbook shoot in Westchester for Nicole Hunn and Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. This cookbook will bring back the classic snacks gluten-free people miss out on: think Twinkies, Twizzlers, and Hostess Cupcakes. Gluten-free or not, these were delicious treats, and I tasted almost every one of them.

Our team consisted of Nicole & Erin McDowell in the kitchen and me on the camera & computer. Nicole’s children and husband were on the scene, the dogs were eventually banished to the prop room (dining room), and the cat hung out until she tried to climb my lighting tools to get to a vase of freshly picked lilies-of-the-valley.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes photos of the shoot.

gluten-free-shoestring-jennifer-may-6196gluten-free-shoestring-jennifer-may-6197gluten-free-shoestring-jennifer-may-6287gluten-free-shoestring-jennifer-may-6361vert-gluten-free-shoestring-jennifer-may-6371gluten-free-shoestring-jennifer-may-6340gluten-free-shoestring-jennifer-may-6335gluten-free-shoestring-jennifer-may-6221

 


3
May 14

James Beard Award Win!

James Beard Award New Midwestern Table coverThe James Beard Awards were held last night and I am thrilled to announce Amy Thielen‘s New Midwestern Table won in the category of American Cooking! I am so glad she chose me to photograph her book.

Big thanks to our fantasic stylists Kendra McKnight and  Alison Hoekstra.

Amy is a fantastic writer, and now also a television host of her own show. Congratulations, Amy! Well deserved.

Below are a few of my favorite shots from our book.

James Beard award for Midwestern Table


17
Mar 14

IACP Award for Chelsea Market Cookbook!

IACP Chelsea Market cookbook award Jennifer May The 2014 IACP awards were just announced, and I am excited to report that The Chelsea Market Cookbook won the award in the Best Compilation Category! It is the story of a place, with 100 recipes from purveyors and restaurants including Sarabeth’s Bakery, Buddakan, and Lucy’s Whey, and includes recipes from guest chefs such as Bobby Flay and Hugh Acheson. I spent a good portion of last summer photographing the market in action, and recipes in the studio. The book is written by Michael Phillips and Rick Rodgers, and is published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. See the cover here, and some interior images below.


5
Mar 14

Culinary Institute of America

The cover and some images of a cookbook I photographed for the Culinary Institute of America, published this month. Power foods of note: blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, chickpeas, beets, and kale. Note to self: eat more of these things!

Culinary Institute of America book cover


26
Feb 14

Dumplings

Dumplings! The tastiest dumplings, and they are hand made in a small kitchen at the back of Palace Dumplings in Wappingers Falls, NY. Here are some shots that ran in Hudson Valley magazine:

 


18
Jan 14

Breads Cookbook

I am back at the Culinary Institute of America, photographing my third cookbook for them. So excited about this project. Here is an outtake from today’s shoot in the bakery… it takes a pro to sprinkle flour on a surface with this kind of precision.

flour on baking board


15
Jan 14

More from the Midwest

I am sorting photos from my archive to update my website. This afternoon I am revisiting images from my trips to Minnesota, for Amy Thielen’s New Midwestern Table (Clarkson Potter, 2013). Such a beautiful place. I will make a new posting when my website has a flush of new photos.