We’ve just had lunch. Since moving to the south of France we’ve adopted the French habit of eating our main meals at lunch-time. There are several reasons for this.
Restaurant lunches are cheaper and better value for money than evening dinners so if we eat out it’s usually the plat de jour option.
It’s also really hot here and long lunches followed by a laze around, a siesta or writing a novel seems more pleasant than having a heavy meal late at night. It gives us almost a double day.
We feel much healthier for eating this way and for buying local food in small quantities.
Today I want to celebrate the way that the simple yet intensely flavoursome and fresh foods we get here made a superb meal. Or, to be more exact, were made into a superb meal by my wife.
The ingredients were:
The last of the roast chicken from Sunday lunch, salad onion, garlic, a small chilli, fresh tomatoes. All from the market in front of our apartment. A yellow pepper from the supermarket at the bottom of our apartment. Basil from our terrace. Arborio rice, roasted almonds, salt and pepper, paprika and a little stock.
These are simple foods yet my wife conjured up the most wonderful risotto with them. It looked like a painting by Matisse or Derain, with all the colours of the Mediterranean world.
It tasted like a flamboyant mixture of Italian and, Spanish cuisine. In fact it could almost have been a homage to the two finalists of Euro 2012. Except that there were definite flavours of France and North Africa mixed in. And a lot of English talent.
A wonderful lunch. Thanks to everybody who produced it, the farmers, the traders and especially my wife. And a big thanks to my taste-buds for enjoying it so much.
And now to work.