Food is Art

Food is Art

Produced by Brett Levine

Recipe development and food styling by Lily Plauché

Photography by Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Inspiration comes from amazing places, and this month we find it in Severin Roesen’s 18th century ‘Fruit Still Life’ from the collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art, a painting that contains many of the amazing ingredients in the recipes that follow. While artists traditionally left the elements of a still life in place as long as possible, here we bring them back to life in a sangria, a granita and some amazing peach orange pops!

Roesen’s painting is reinterpreted here with real ingredients. So play spot the differences between the two before you spend a morning in your kitchen and an afternoon at the museum.

Watermelon Sangria

Serves: 8

¼  cup sugar

2 strips lemon peel

2 strips orange peel

6 mint leaves

2 pounds seedless watermelon, cut into cubes

1 bottle dry white wine, chilled

½ cup Cointreau

Watermelon chunks, orange, lemon and lime slices

½ cup club soda, chilled

Mint sprigs

1. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup sugar, ¼ cup water, lemon peel, orange peel, and mint leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Let cool 30 minutes; strain into a large pitcher.

2. Puree watermelon in a food processor until smooth; strain into pitcher, pressing on solids to release juices. Add white wine and Cointreau. Add desired fruits and chill until ready to serve. Pour over ice and top off each glass with club soda. Garnish with mint.

Peach-Orange Popsicles

Serves: 8

¼ cup fresh orange juice

¼ cup sugar

1 ¼ pounds ripe peaches, sliced

½ teaspoon grated orange peel

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Cointreau, optional

1. In a small saucepan, heat orange juice and sugar over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Cool 10 minutes.

2. Puree peaches in a food processor until smooth; remove to a bowl. Stir in cooled orange juice mixture, orange peel, lemon juice, and Cointreau, if desired. Pour mixture evenly into 8 (3 ounce) popsicle molds. Freeze 8 hours or until firm.

Grape-Champagne Granita

Serves: 6

2 pounds green grapes

1 cup champagne

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons simple syrup

1. Puree grapes in a food processor until smooth. Pour through a wire mesh strainer, pressing on solids to release all the juice. Discard solids. Into the strained juice, stir in champagne and remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into a shallow glass or metal baking dish. Cover and freeze one hour or until edges begin to harden. Stir mixture with a fork. Cover and repeat every hour, stirring with a fork, until fluffy ice crystals form. Freeze until ready to serve.

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