If summer and autumn wanted to get engaged into a perfect partnership, they could easily do so.
I love early autumn, with days still warm enough to enjoy outdoor activities, especially those lucky years, when there’s still plenty of sunshine and the trees get dressed in the golden, brown and red coats slowly, yes, I love that!
You can still enjoy your weekend al fresco lunches or suppers, and as a natural light food photographer, still enjoy the hours also long enough to get the most of those days just as well.
I did exactly that with this salad, Fig & Baby Aubergine salad.
To be completely honest, I got inspired by a great food photographer, Helene Dujardin, who in her book on digital food photography & styling, Plate To Pixel (2011, Wiley Publishing, Indiana), in the “Styling” chapter, mentions a picture of Mini Eggplants (Vegetables, page 183) with a simple idea how to prepare them, too ( page 184), and thought that preparing the small veggies with just some salt and olive oil, might be a very good way to enjoy them.
So I combined them with my usual summer salad of figs and green leaves. What a lovely outcome!
And do not let the perhaps a bit unusual “fig & aubergine” combination put you off.. it is really worth trying these two altogether – just like the time, when summer leaves to hand the scepter to the following ruler. Naturally, with no fuss.
To me, they go well together.
As the main topping ingredients, I used sweet figs, about 150 g, baby aubergines, 200 g, and wonderful smooth and creamy Parlick Fell sheep’s cheese.
Preheat the oven grill to 180 ºC, or, if you prefer to cook and dine al fresco, prepare your grill to moderate heat ahead.
Half the figs and aubergines vertically, brush each of the halves with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Grill both, regularly turning, for about 30 minutes for aubergines, and less for the figs – they get softer and cooked sooner – I usually cook them till the soft red juice appears caramelized.
Meanwhile, make the green leaf base – use a package of rocket, baby spinach and watercress salad. For the dressing, use white natural yoghurt, seasoned with little salt, few drops of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and honey, and added herbs if you wish – I like chopped mint.
Crumble the cheese and keep it aside to crown your salad with it.
As you can see, Helene Dujardin, can bring one not just to better their food images, but inspire the taste buds.
To any person thinking of starting a food blog, having a food produce website, enjoy recipes or as a photographer, turning to work with food from another branch, her book can be a good guide to any of you.
My copy of Plate To Pixel, has its well-deserved place on my ‘favourites shelf’.
Find out more about Helene and what she has for you here: