I get paid. And the first thing that comes to mind – besides a shopping spree at L’Occitane – is a shopping spree at the local market. Toulon’s market meets everyday except Monday and today, with the month’s pay check freshly deposited in my account, I managed to brave the heat and the crowds in order to find lunch.

The husband and I invested in a food processor that does everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Yesterday, he made cold cucumber and apple soup, a tomato tart, a fruit smoothie, and milkshakes- everything was sliced, mashed and mixed by le robot. In honor of the food processor’s inauguration, I decided to give it a day of rest by making a “risotto primavera.”

  • Risotto rice
  • Spinach
  • Green peas
  • asparagus
  • red, yellow, green peppers
  • red onion
  • basil
  • garlic
  • parmesan or romano cheese
  • white wine – I used pinot gris because it was already open. A good bottle, I felt kind of bad about using it for cooking.
  • vegetable stock
  • olive oil

(If you don’t know how to cook the ingredients, feel free to ask.)

So it’s not quite the traditional primavera. The husband doesn’t like broccoli and I had frozen asparagus. In fact all the vegetables I used besides the onion were frozen. Fresh would have been better – but I like to use what I have in order to make room for new and exciting foods. Parmesan cheese is, of course, the traditional primavera and risotto cheese, but I was shocked to find the market completely void of it so I picked a salty and aged Romano instead. It did the trick nicely.

But of course, we couldn’t allow the food processor to really have a day of rest. I chopped the Romano inside it.

The first course was a 5 vegetable tapenade (eggplant, zucchini, pepper, tomato, onion, olives) and a traditional green olive tapenade fresh from the market and spread on light and toasty crackers.

For dessert we had Baba Rhum – once again the food processor was put through its paces as the dough and whipped cream were both assembled inside. It was my husband’s first time making the Baba Rhum dough and when he was beating it with his hands we both thought it looked to gooey so we added flour. And then more flour. The end result was a rather thick brioche. Tasty, but a tad too filling. Since fruit is a must with baba rhum, we topped ours with fresh cherries soaked in – what else?- rhum.

To drink I had a rosé by Domain l’Oppidum des Cauvins.

The risotto was a success. I love when my recipes work out well and they are filled with veggies. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos because I was starving by the time it was finished and to be perfectly honest, I’m terrible when it comes to plating food in a decorative way. It was a heavy meal – a bit hot for this heat – but in the end it sits in the tummy and on the palette in a most satisfying way.

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