cucumber, tomato and radish salad, saffron dressing

August 22, 2012

cucumber tomato salad

It is funny, I just joked on Facebook that it has been so long since I have blogged that I have forgotten my wordpress password. Funny at first, sure, but somewhat sad too. These last 6months have been an upheaval for my family – some large changes in our life that have come to be very welcome indeed. With things seeming like a routine again I can now focus more time to taking food photos, making food, and writing about it. For that, I am seriously happy indeed. I am even more happy for the fact that my lovely wife took a few long days to clear up the garage so I can get to my meat curing chambers again. Things are on course for a very, very meaty winter.

With all that said, on to some food. I have had a long run on this blog of vegetarian dishes, and frankly I see no harm in continuing that trend. Given that we are in the midst of the best growing season I have seen for a few years, it would be rather inconsiderate to this fine weather not to write about something that wholly reflects the current time of year. I am not going to get on the whole local/sustainable/seasonal soapbox (because most know where I stand with that), but this is the time of year where that should be done, and done simply.

asian cucumbers
We were walking around the farmers market and saw some awesome asian cucumbers at our favorite lettuce stand. Snatching those up, and a watermelon radish I set home with a few ideas in mind. I have been looking at a lot of Persian dishes recently, and figured I might well do something in that vain. A simple side salad that was clean, fresh, and interesting enough to seem far more complicated than it really is.

cucumber tomato salad
So here. Mandoline a bunch of cucumber (the asian ones really do work well here) and watermelon radish, slice some tomatoes into wedges, mix up some saffron and herbs, and give this a go.

One thing I want to do is to take shots of my photography setups for each shot. This is really for my learning more than anything – so I have a log of how to do things. I see no harm in sharing the shots! If anyone has suggestions on changes to setup I would love to hear them!

(yes that is actually my white shirt I’m using as the linen!)

food photography setup

Cucumber tomato salad
Cucumber, Tomato, Radish salad recipe

2 cucumbers, preferably the less bitter asian variety
10 ripe cherry tomatoes
1 watermelon radish
a few springs of basil and mint
15 saffron threads
2 tablespoons of hot water
splash of lemon juice
2 talbespoons of good olive oil
sea salt

mix the saffron threads with the hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Using a mandoline or some mad knife skills slice the cucumbers lengthwise, discarding (or snacking on) the core/seeds. Slice the watermelon radish using the mandolin also, across the radish so you see that awesome starburst color. Slice the cherry tomatoes into eight’s through the core to make nice looking wedges.

Whisk together the oil, lemon juice and saffron water. Tear the herb leaves into large pieces. Toss all of the ingredients together, and dress with the saffron vinaigrette. Season to taste with good sea salt.

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  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar August 22, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Welcome back! This is such a great salad to start off with 🙂

  • Brooke (Crackers on the Couch) August 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    And now I know what to do with them! 🙂 My only comment about your set up is that the rest of your house is too damn clean. If you’re going to be a proper blogger you need like a pound of cat hair sprinkled about liberally and half a toy store on the floor. Or maybe that’s just me.

  • Sook August 23, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Beautiful photography! Love the idea of using cucumbers in salad! So healthy and refreshing.

  • Jillian August 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Your photos are so gorgeous, and it is great to see how you shoot them. I am more of the ‘quick pictures before we eat it!’ kind of blogger. 🙂 I am definitely going to try this saffron dressing this week!

  • Julie August 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    So nice to see you back here. Thanks for another inspiring recipe and a peek behind the scenes as to how you produce such beautiful food photos.