4 Recipes Reimagined

It’s a running joke in the TNP office that I go way overboard in trying to make what should be very simple photos look – to no avail – like a Renoir. But, when we discovered it was Irving Penn’s birthday today, I decided to take that a little more to heart. Penn’s still life and food photography, not to mention his portraits (really more my bread and butter) have been probably the most influential for me as a photographer. His food photography though, which for many years could be seen consistently in the pages of Vogue, was some of the most original and creative of our time. Penn was said to be obsessed with details (something I am also guilty of) and it’s obvious when looking through some of his perfect still lifes that this was certainly the case.

So, in honor of his birthday, I took four of our favorite TNP recipes and reimagined them in Penn’s signature style. Below you’ll find four great recipes for your summer – if you can recognize them!

– Danielle Kosann


6 large ripe avocados

Juice of 1 lemon (more to taste if necessary)

Bunch of cilantro – just leaves – chopped

3 Tablespoons onion, chopped fine

1 tomato, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together and enjoy.



1/3 cup frozen Acai Berry Puree

1/3 cup Spinach

1/2 Banana, frozen

1 1/2 tablespoons Peanut Butter

1/4 cup Blueberries, frozen

1 teaspoon Hemp Hearts

1/2 teaspoon Flax Seeds

1/2 cup Almond Milk


Your favorite granola

Sliced Strawberries


Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add more almond milk if mixture is too thick. Pour into a bowl and top with granola and sliced strawberries.



2 ounces Tomato Juice

1 1/2 ounces Vodka

2 teaspoons Lemon Juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/2  teaspoon Celery Salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh Horseradish, grated

1/2 teaspoon Hot Sauce

1/4 teaspoon Olive Brine

Olives, for garnish

Celery Stalk, for garnish

Crispy Smoked Bacon, for garnish

Lemon Wedge, for garnish


Combine tomato juice, vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, horseradish, hot sauce, and olive brine. Shake well, pour over ice. Garnish with celery, olives, smoky bacon, and lemon wedges.


From Maria Duenas Jacobs

Serves 4-5


1 box Fusilli pasta (important you use this kind of pasta!)


Red pepper flakes


Extra virgin olive oil

Broccoli (about 3 heads)


Boil a big pot of water, add salt.

Add pasta when water boils cook until pasta is cooked but firm to the bite.

Cut up broccoli and steam until it is very soft and easy to cut into (basically over-cooked).

In a skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil and diced up or crushed garlic (depends on how garlicky you like it – I use about 2 cloves).

Add the soft steamed broccoli to the skillet and let it break down further (help by cutting it up more).

Add salt, more olive oil and red pepper flakes.

Once the fusilli have cooked al dente, drain them and put them back into the pot (reserve a bit of pasta water, it may be needed).

Add broccoli mix, add oil (be liberal) and salt to your liking and also use some pasta water if needed.

The pasta and the broccoli should mix together easily and the broccoli will breakdown and coat the pasta.

Semplice e delizioso!

If you’re not familiar with Penn’s still lifes, check them out here. Or check out some of our favorite TNP portraits, here