By Pattie Garrett
When I visit the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, I see beautiful vegetables and fruits. I cannot resist taking a photograph.
“Look at me. I’m pretty,” I imagine a red pepper or a striped delicata squash saying to me. “Take my picture.”
And I do.
Starting a food blog, My Saratoga Kitchen Table, created an excuse to visit the market and take photographs. I make a dish, arrange it on the table, take several photographs, select ones I like and post them to the blog. The real star is not my skill but the produce.
I like to use a basic Canon Rebel, with a 50 mm prime lens. With it, I can take photos in lower light situations, and create nice blurry backgrounds while getting close for detail. But my cell phone camera is equally successful because locally grown food is photogenic.
So, when you next visit the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, bring a camera or a cell phone and take some pictures. Do it for yourself, or for your friends, or for your Facebook universe. You’ll gain a different relationship with food, as you get to know farmers and their stories of food.
A few tips:
- • Photography is about light. Try to take advantage of sun lighting up fruits and vegetables in the morning hours of the Saturday market. On Wednesdays, the soft golden light of late afternoon creates a different experience. Try capturing a reflection, a glow, or an outline just before sunset.
- • The farmers market bursts with colors. Look for complementary colors – the primary shade of red, for instance, pairs nicely with green, while yellow looks stunning alongside purple. Often, in the vegetables alone, you’ll find color variations created by nature such as green flecks in a bright red tomato, hints of indigo in a pumpkin, flecks of purple in a golden potato.
- • Experiment with perspectives, angles, and lines. Create an image of a vegetable by starting from above and looking straight down. Then, bend at the knees to create a photo of the same veggie at eye level.
Above all, have fun. Talk to the farmers who grew the beautiful produce and learn their stories of the fruits of their labors.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market remains at High Rock Park 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays for two more weeks. The market moves to its winter location Nov. 5 at the Lincoln Baths in the Saratoga Spa State Park.
Roasted Carrots, Red Onions and Fennel
Adapted from Bon Appetit, Shared by My Saratoga Kitchen Table
*Ingredients currently available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market
• 2 pounds carrots, peeled, cut into 3 inch pieces*
• 2 large red onions, each cut through root end into 8 wedges*
• 1 fennel bulb, cut into ½ inch wedges*
• 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided*
• 2 Tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely chopped
• pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
• ½ teaspoon paprika
• 2 Tablespoons red wine*
• 1 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 Tablespoons torn mint leaves*
• Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and onions and fennel on another rimmed baking sheet. Leave plenty of room so the vegetables’ edges brown. Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of oil. Roast, tossing occasionally until golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes for carrots and 35-45 minutes for onions and fennel. Let cool.
• Cook sunflower seeds, coriander seeds, crushed pepper, paprika and remaining 2 Tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until oil is gently bubbling around seed and spices are fragrant (be careful not to burn) about 2 minutes. Let cool. Stir in vinegar and lemon juice.
• Combine roasted carrots, fennel, and onions in a bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over and toss to coat. Transfer to platter. Top with mint.
Calories: 135 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 1 g Carbohydrates: 15 g Sodium: 94 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 2 g Cholesterol: 0