I'm finally getting a feel for the light in the house. I know a lot of folks assumed that this was the first thing I investigated when we initially looked at it, but, really, it was one of the last. In fact, I didn't realize how good it was until I actually started playing around. Yes, the kitchen is a bit limited, but I do have two small patches that seem to work nicely. And that's significantly better than our apartment. I didn't tell a lot of people this, but I rarely photographed food in our old kitchen. The light just wasn't very good. So I'd do a lot of the chopping and ingredient shots in the living room, head into the kitchen to cook, and then bring it all back into the living room. It was very challenging and I'm so glad those days are behind me.
In our new place, I get most of my shots in the dining room. There are three large windows that fill the room with just the right amount of light. I'm still getting a sense of the best places to shoot and it's really exciting when I find a new area to work in.
So, I freaked out a little when I saw fiddleheads in the store. I can't remember what I went in for. Whatever it was became insignificant as soon as I saw these. For some strange reason, I'm obsessed when I get my hands on them. Maybe it's their unique shape or that they taste like asparagus, but with a slight grassy note. Whatever it is, I had to buy a bag. I often do a sauté with butter and garlic and will throw them on pasta or grits. This time, I wanted something different. Because they are potentially toxic, it's a good idea to cook them first, which is what I did. And then I tossed them into an ice bath before throwing them into a bowl with chopped tomato and a light, lemony dressing. That may have been satisfying enough, but a salad doesn't really hit the spot without the addition of cheese. I'm pretty sure the pecorino brings this whole dish together.
Fiddlehead and Tomato Salad with Pecorino
Source 4-6 servings
1/2 lb fiddleheads, rinsed 1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half Thinly sliced red onion (I did about an 1/8 of a cup) Juice of half a lemon 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil Kosher salt and ground black pepper Pecorino
1. To prepare the fiddleheads, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fiddleheads. While they're cooking, prepare an ice bath. After 6-10 minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer the fiddleheads to the ice bath. Once chilled, drain the liquid.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon, pumpkin seed oil, grapeseed oil and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer tomatoes, fiddleheads, and thinly sliced red onion to a serving bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes.
4. Before serving, shave pecorino cheese over the salad. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper.