Goat Cheese, Fig, Serrano Ham and Thyme Galette

To the complaint, ‘There are no people in these photographs,’ I respond, There are always two people, the photographer and the viewer.

– Ansel Adams

This is my first recipe post using my new camera, yay! I’m still trying to get used to it, and also understand how far or close I can sneak around the food for it to focus. What I quickly discovered is that when the camera doesn’t focus, it won’t click. For this I was shooting on the A settings at f/5.6 and 45mm. I’ll be experimenting tons more.

I recently had a small chat with my blogging friend Miwa Theresa in her post Capturing the Moment vs. Living the Moment. I had been thinking about this topic and wanted to write about it too.

Many people consider that those of us who like being behind a camera are wasting precious moments of our lives because we aren’t living the moment. Of course I respect their opinions.

During the last year I’ve discovered that I adore being behind the camera. Just as Miwa Theresa mentions, I too photograph objects a lot and try to get people into the angle where the light most flatters them. People don’t understand why I photograph objects, or plants and insects for instance.

The truth is I have fun capturing the texture and playing with the light. I think I realise details that I probably wouldn’t realise should I not be photographing them. For me that is not wasting my moments. It is living them in a way that is pleasurable for myself. It is like an artist who likes to spend his time painting. It is just like myself when I spend hours, days, weeks, months trying to perfect a piece on the piano. I don’t consider it a waste of time. For me it’s reaching beauty. In photography, I also want to capture beauty.

Ok, please excuse the non-beauty in the next photos. I don’t think they are great, I was just practicing!



Goats cheese

Serrano ham for galette

Goat Cheese, Fig, Serrano Ham and Thyme Galette

I shamefully admit that I still haven’t mastered the art of effortlessly whipping up a quick pastry crust in no time, so I used a store bought one. Also, I’ll just point out that Serrano ham is very salty, so I didn’t add any salt.


125g goats cheese, 3 figs, 80g Serrano ham, fresh thyme, black pepper, 1 pastry sheet.

Preheat the oven to 210ºC.

Cut the goats cheese, figs and Serrano ham into pieces. Arrange them on the pastry. Sprinkle the thyme over the top along with some freshly ground black pepper. Fold the edges of the pastry inwards to form the shape of the galette. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes.

Goats cheese, fig, serrano ham and thyme galette

Thank you for reading!

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  1. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2014-10-02 at 23:54

    Beautiful, Sofia. Figs, chevre and thyme are an amazing combination. The sweetness of the figs, saltiness of the cheese and serrano are a great trio with the earthy thyme. You could drizzle with great EVOO – or even honey and some chopped walnuts – to change up the dish. Love the photo of your masterpiece!!!

    1. Sofia 2014-10-02 at 23:56

      Oh thanks Shanna, I was thinking about drizzling some honey actually, and great idea you gave with the walnuts! How are you doing? xx

  2. Bunny Eats Design 2014-10-03 at 00:14

    Nice pics! I wish there were more figs in my life.

    Yes, I find that I can’t get too close to the subject in Aperture mode, but you can flick to Macro mode if you really need to get close. Otherwise, You can just move back a bit, snap your pic and crop the photo later (on the computer).

    The lower the f number, the more dramatic the depth of field. Basically, one point will be in focus, everything lens will be blurred. Once you get used to your camera, you might want to invest in a lens that is f1.8. 45mm is a very good setting for food. I like to use 35mm and 50mm for food. It’s also a nice distance for portraits.

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 11:23

      Figs will soon be out of season here so I’m taking advantage while they last!
      Hmmm, does your camera push the flash up itself on macro mode, because mine does when it considers the lighting low, so I sort of forgot about using it.
      When it’s time for me to get a lens for food, I’ll consult you again. xx

  3. Sue 2014-10-03 at 00:17

    I can definitely see the difference with your new camera! And I’m happy to report that my mother has been converted to a food-picture-taker-before-she-eats sometimes, despite her previously mocking me . . . because the dishes she makes are so beautiful . . . I agree with the beauty theory! It’s funny, you may find in the future that making the crust is one of the most enjoyable parts of making a gallette or pie . . . bread is a different matter, much more fickle, but try it some time and let me know how it goes. In the meantime, these figs are gorgeous and I love the pairing with serrano ham!

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 13:19

      How sweet, I think my mother is slowly going into photographing food now too, or atleast she’s stopped mocking me for doing it. If you say that making the crust is the most enjoyable part, I’ll have to take you word for it and give it a go!

  4. Johnny Hepburn 2014-10-03 at 01:04

    Nice combination. And you’re certainly getting to grips with DOF. In time I’m hoping you’ll experiment with your pastry. I used a new (to me) flour earlier today and what a difference! Have to admit, I do lose my patience with pastry. Partly as my counter is so tiny. Or at least that’s my excuse!

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 11:20

      I’m hoping about the pastry too. I have the same excuse as you: tiny counter 🙂 Which is the new flour you have used?

      1. Johnny Hepburn 2014-10-05 at 00:17

        It’s McDougalls plain flour, that’s suitable for pastry and cakes. I’m in the middle of blind baking pastry cases for jam tarts and chocolate things. Phew, nearly done – in! My kitchen is way too small to deal with fiddly pastry cases. Far better with larger tarts and pies. Anyway, found this article just last night, and this has lots of pertinent info on pastry: http://www.taste.com.au/news+features/articles/6511/8+rules+for+perfect+pastry+by+matt+preston

        I wish I had’ve read that sooner. 🙂 Oh, and there are four types of flour: bread 14 – 16%; plain 10 – 13 %; pastry 09%; cake 07-08%. Those percentages are protein. The softer the flour the softer the pastry. And the softer the pastry the more expletives hurled (by me) to the ether!

  5. Dalo 2013 2014-10-03 at 02:36

    Great photos…you and your new camera make a good pair. Great quote from Ansel Adams, and so true. Cheers!

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 13:20

      Thanks 🙂 Have a great weekend Randy! Don’t forget to keep me updated with the HK stuff.

      1. Dalo 2013 2014-10-04 at 12:59

        Now with me off to China tomorrow, you’ll have to keep me updated on the HK stuff 🙂

        1. Sofia 2014-10-04 at 13:33

          I’ll be your journalist!

          1. Dalo 2013 2014-10-04 at 13:40

            That would be photo-journalist with your new camera … and all the dim-sum you want next time you’re in HK 🙂

            1. Sofia 2014-10-04 at 18:21

              I might be too busy eating dim sum, so you can do more of the photo-journalism, you’re way better than me!

  6. Liz 2014-10-03 at 03:00

    fantastic photos, fantastic ingredients, fantastic recipe, fantastic quote 🙂

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 15:50

      And have a fantastic weekend Liz!

  7. Michelle 2014-10-03 at 05:09

    Great Adams quote. I will remember that the next time my mother gripes at me about the fact that, at the end of every trip, there are no photos of me! Glad to see you’re enjoying the new camera. It suits you well.

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 13:21

      Hehe same here, I’ll remember it next time my mum does that too. Actually, if you see my New York post (more to come) there is one and only one photo of me because even though I have goodness knows how many hundreds of NY photos, there is only that one of me… Have a great weekend! xx

  8. mademoisellegourmande 2014-10-03 at 07:41

    The galette looks absolutely adorable! So mouthwatering just to know what is in it and see those pictures you took. Beautiful.
    For me, I really love taking pictures of people, food or just situations. I’m not so much in love with taking pictures of tourist sights or something like that. I won’t really ever look at them again anyway. At the last wedding I attended, I shot tons of photos because you’ll look at them again and again with all the people and the great ambiance. I guess everyone has to find their way. I hate it when people tell me to seize the moment rather than take a picture though… 😉
    Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 13:23

      Was it the wedding in Spain?
      Have a lovely weekend!

  9. miwa theresa 2014-10-03 at 09:19

    I totally agree with you, Sofia! Photography is an art, and taking photos helps you notice things that you wouldn’t have noticed if you weren’t looking through a lens. I guess you’ve helped me answer my question of “can’t we live in the moment and capture it too”? It is definitely doable 😉

    And I must add, your photos look amazing! The figs look absolutely delicious. I also love that quote by Ansel Adams 😉

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 15:45

      We have to look at it like we are artists! 🙂
      We’ll have to start a secret Ansel Adams quote group 😉

  10. Sunny 2014-10-03 at 12:27

    Hey Sofia, the photos are EXCELLENT! I learnt about the no focus no click thing when I got my DSLR, too. I think it’s a great mechanism once you get used to it 🙂 The recipe looks YUMMY as usual! I love homemade crusts, but they do take a long time, so there is no shame in using store-bought ones!

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 15:46

      Hey Sunny actually I realised the no focus no click thing on the first day. I also think its a good mechanism, maybe you don’t waste camera rolls but you certainly don’t waste time later rummageing through dozens of unfocused pics. Do you make homemade crusts?

      1. Sunny 2014-10-03 at 17:02

        I’ve done that, but it’s so much work! You know what, I’m doing a supermarket run now. I might buy some ingredients and make something similar this weekend 🙂

  11. emmabarrett1508 2014-10-03 at 13:34

    This looks so delicious. I adore goats cheese. You would love the huge fig tree growing in the field the horses are kept in at Riding for the Disabled where I volunteer in Epsom. We are working our way through the figs at the moment. Emma.

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 15:47

      Yes I would love that fig tree, and what I nice place for it to be too. Enjoy your figs! xx

  12. chef mimi 2014-10-03 at 14:27

    Beautiful photos. But I never thought your photos were inferior in any way. i think it’s just really exciting to play with a new camera! Fabulous gallette!

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 15:48

      You’re so kind Mimi, yes a new camera is so much fun to play with. Who said toys are just for children? 😉

  13. kitchenkonfidential 2014-10-03 at 15:00

    oh my goodness. i am dying for this dish! in the fall, i love to put figs with anything (or really, just anytime) – this would be perfect at any time throughout the day 🙂 can’t wait to make this!!

    1. Sofia 2014-10-03 at 15:49

      I find many opportunities to put figs into dishes too 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  14. illcookyouwash 2014-10-03 at 15:59

    Wow. That sounds so incredibly fancy and delicious!

  15. Guillermina Stover 2014-10-03 at 21:58

    Oh. My. Goodness. I can smell the rosemary…your new camera is working it well for you, I see!

  16. Guillermina Stover 2014-10-03 at 21:58

    LOL! I meant to say “your new camera is working OUT well for you…” Oy vey…

    1. Sofia 2014-10-04 at 19:14

      I am LOVING The camera 🙂

  17. Ngan R. 2014-10-06 at 02:15

    Love the quote and the photos, Sofia. I actually think they are all quite good, but that finished featured photo really drew me in! I am in a phase right now where I don’t want to photograph anything. I don’t want to stop and take the time to make the setting pretty or go get my nice camera. I just want to look at my food, enjoy it for a moment and then dig in. If I do have an urge to photograph nowadays, I rarely make it further than grabbing my IPhone and snapping a few (I know photographers don’t like this). Do you ever go through these phases or is it just me?

  18. Joyce 2014-10-06 at 23:17

    Oh, your pictures are divine! That pastry looks absolutely delicious.

    I think that those who endlessly interrupt outings to line their loved ones up for pictures can sometimes take the joy out of special moments…but I never see that when I look at your pictures. I see love, creativity, and art. Please, continue to snap away. You are so good at it.

    1. Sofia 2014-10-06 at 23:23

      Oh thanks Joyce. Actually you’re right, I am very timid to interrupt people to make photos so I prefer to photograph scenes and tell people to ignore me completely and go on with what they are doing. Have a lovely week xx

  19. Patty Nguyen 2014-10-07 at 06:52

    Hooray! Great job with the photography for this post, Sofia! Everything looks great and I sure wish I could have a slice of that galette. I recently had a photo student tell me that she thinks food photos are boring. This was when I was sharing my work at the beginning of class. Can’t say that didn’t sting a little bit. Ah well, we just have to brush off those comments and click away! 😀

    1. Sofia 2014-10-08 at 09:56

      Oh thanks Patty! I guess your student is not really into food then… Don’t let it sting you and lets click away!

  20. Marie 2014-10-12 at 20:53

    OMG! Looks AMAZING! <3 <3

  21. Edu Ramirez 2014-10-14 at 23:47

    Amazing, I can imagine how it taste soon I’ll be posting something really similar. I just changed the base for a good bread slice (pagès one) and also add some Modena glaze over it. But yours with that oven finish looks spectacular….

    1. Sofia 2014-10-19 at 23:45

      Hola Edu, Thanks, warn me so I can see your creation!

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