Food Styling at Leiths – Week 4

Today was a practical class – on Greek Salad.

I had spent the week researching, coming up with ideas, finding out the ingredients of an authentic Greek Salad, looking at different types of crockery, reviewing recipes for pitta bread and thinking about the best ways to present a salad.

The only thing I didn’t do was to actually find an exact recipe.  How daft was that!  It didn’t occur to me to do this. I had it in my head that a recipe would be provided, well it wasnt. Yikes!

After a relatively saneish scramble to the food bench, I grabbed the basic ingredients and started chopping like crazy.  It was only when I noticed the red liquid coming out of the green cucumber that all was not well. I realised I very nearly added an extra ingredient to the dish … me!

Things I’ve learnt today.

1) Professional kitchen knives are far sharper than domestic knives, and the only indicator that you have done yourself an injury, is when you see the red stuff pouring out of your finger.

2) Research recipes, even if it’s a simple dish that you ‘think’ you know. When you go into a blind panic (not helped by the red stuff coming out of your finger), a piece of paper with a clear instructions becomes a comforting friend.

3) I much prefer baking.  I know where I am with flour, not so much with a tomatoes. I grow fruit, herbs and vegetables and make my own cheese.  I think I’ve contributed more than enough to the whole salad production thing.

4) OK I admit, I’m anti knives – my balloon whisk or wooden spoon have never hurt or even cut me. I will not look at a salad in the same way again – they are dangerous!:(

Anyway, here is my attempt.  I was influenced by the Greek flag, and hence the crockery colour scheme, and the idea of a quick and simple Greek style meal, including pudding.

I found for an authentic Greek Salad, Pitta bread and here is my own recipe for the Greek Yogurt with Pistachios.  It was originally going to be yogurt and walnuts, but I’m not as huge a fan of walnuts as I am with pistachios, plus because of their lovely bright green colour, I felt that the pistachios would photograph better.

Greek salad

Pitta bread

Greek yogurt with pistachios

So here it is, I call it Greek Style Lunch.

I’m quite proud of this for many reasons – it was my first attempt at making a Greek salad, I managed to make it look ‘styled’ and it was actually fun to do, once I stopped panicking and located a blue plaster.

If I ever find the courage to do this again, I would do a deconstructed salad, to showcase the different ingredients.  I think the last minute addition of the lemon twist saved my salad, I would add the dressing at the side rather than adding to the salad.  It was a good excercise which made me think outside of the box, which is always a good thing.

And yes I shall be milking my injury for all it’s worth for as long as possible.  I do not like the sight of blood – especially when it’s my own.

Here are some of the wonderful examples from my fellow class members, it is amazing how different they all are, especially as we all used the same basic ingredients.

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