Tag Archives: salad

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When I made that first meal for the blog last summer, I was embarrassed at how ugly everything looked, and how terrible it tasted. What was I doing wrong?

Well, the answer to that my friends, was everything. 

I've come a monumental way since that ill-fated, barely edible, I-cant-believe-I'm-posting-this-online post, and I've picked up a few tricks along the way.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mainly, I've become a pretty decent photographer/food stylist (I hope!). This mixed green salad with strawberries and goat cheese is basically identical to the one I made one year ago, but with a nicer camera, better lens, no camera flash, better props, better lighting (THIS is the big one here), and a newfound knowledge of photography.

Here's the original shot:

And now the same salad, but with a year's worth of experience behind the shot:

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

Mmm....moody. How about another?

Now you might be asking yourself, ok, I get how the lighting, camera, and props make a big difference, but the salad itself just looks so much nicer! What's the secret, Sarah?

Brace yourselves, readers, because I am going to offer you a glance into the world of food styling, and peek at the obsessive compulsivity that must accompany it:

This is nuts. Halfway through washing and sorting through the spinach for the prettiest pieces, in 95 degree heat, I asked my mother if I had lost my mind. She said yes. I accepted this fact and continued to build a beautiful salad.

For the curious, here's the book I've been using as a basic guide to getting my food to look nicer: Food Styling for Photographers.

So that's it, I guess. I could lie and tell you I made a delicious vinaigrette to go with this salad, but I used up my last lemons making the citrus salsa verde for the salmon.

salad, summer, mixed greens, arugula, spinach, baby, mesculin, spring mix, strawberries, berry, berries, strawberry, goat cheese, chevre, light, lemon, vinaigrette

All in all, I'm pretty excited about where I've come in the past year, and looking forward to where the next one will take me. And I'm still waiting for the fame and fortune that I just know is right around the corner.

Original salad

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arugula, grapefruit, salad, shallot vinaigrette, shallot dressing, grapefruit salad, summer salad, homemade dressing, homemade, delicious, arugula, spring, summer, colorful, it's all about the dressing salad, 100 recipes every woman should know, Cindi Leive

Whenever I buy lettuce and salad ingredients at Wegmans, I have every intention of making a delicious, healthy, and colorful salad to accompany my dinners. And then I typically find said lettuce and vegetables rotting at the bottom of my fridge, weeks later. I'm not sure why I feel like making salad is such a tedious activity, but I bet it's because, for the most part, just eating salad is tedious enough.

The trick is to find the right salads, and mix it up to always keep things interesting. I was a huge fan of the goat cheese and strawberry salad I made last summer, and so I thought I would make another simple salad with a few star ingredients to make it pop. In this case, it's the grapefruit, and the incredible shallot dressing. ...continue reading

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I originally had this salad at The Inn at Weathersfield in Vermont, when I went to my Grandfather's wedding party. It was made with fewer strawberries, and a delicious lemon vinaigrette I haven't been able to reproduce yet.

What you need:

  • Mixed greens (I buy the Wegmans bags of lettuce unless I go to the farmer's market)
  • Strawberries
  • Goat cheese
  • A light vinaigrette dressing (lemon works if you want a more tart salad, but I've been using a sweeter raspberry)

Toss the lettuce and strawberries in a bowl with the dressing, add some chunks of goat cheese. It's fairly strong, so a little bit goes a long way. Unless you're like me and you love the stuff, in which case add a lot!