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Risotto Provencal

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risotto Provencal

risotto Provencal

In the middle of summer when you can eat dinner al fresco in your garden, all things Mediterranean come to mind. And I mean all Mediterranean food and films.

Films are a funny thing though. Some good films made in a particular area don’t make you want to go there, and some really (pardon my French) shite ones have got no good plot, writing or inspirational characters but have got that something which makes you yearn to visit the location.

Examples? Take Francis Ozon ‘Swimming Pool’. A really good film to watch, gives you some urge to holiday but doesn’t make you instantly long for south of France.

It is making me think more of French films and writing.



A really intriguing story though with great acting.

Then take for example ‘A Good Year’…Such a terrible film…Russel Crow pretends he can do light comedy and terribly fakes British accent. I cringe every time I watch it. But I watch it to the end. Why? Because of Phillipe Le Sourd cinematography. The location is so beautifully shot it always makes me want to pack my bags and go to Provence. And also to dine al fresco.






‘A Good Year’ proves that it’s not as easy as you might think, to make a romantic comedy. In theory, you’ve got good script. Ridley Scott is a brilliant director. Cast wasn’t too bad either, especially Marion Cottillard. Although Russell Crow was not too shabby either in some of his films. Then you put it all together and there you go – a fiasco. That’s why people should never frown upon a romantic comedy. A really difficult genre to succeed in.

Everything what ‘A Good Year’ wanted to be and failed was a success in ‘French Kiss’. Maybe because cast was chosen better. Meg Ryan is a veteran of romantic comedies. She delivers. Kevin Kline is a genius and his portrayal of a French man is hilarious and brilliant. Another film which makes me want to go to France, dine al fresco, but doesn’t make me cringe.



Remember the scene when Meg Ryan’s character arrives at the little French town which we find out later is Luc’s hometown, and she says’ oh, beautiful! gorgeous! wish you were here!’? That’s the line I say everywhere nice I am since I’ve seen the film.

And there is another category way above any league – Eric Rohmer’s films. I said it before and I will say it again, Eric Rohmer was the master of film making, dialogue, character building. He was the man. His films made me not only want to dine al fresco, go to France, walk and talk, but also simply just live… And not many films make you feel like that.

So this summer take the party outside.

Risotto Provencal :

risotto provencal

risotto Provencal

risotto provencal

risotto Provencal

risotto provencal

risotto Provencal

1 1/2 cup brown short grain rice

1 l vegetable stock

1 cup white wine

1 leek

2 courgettes

1 cup green peas

2 tbsp olive oil

knob of butter

1/2 tsp herbes de provence

1 clove chopped garlic



grated vegetarian parmesan

1. Start with warming up olive oil and butter in a pan. Add garlic and fry on a low heat for 4-5 min. Add chopped leek and fry for another 8 minutes.

2. Add rice and coat it with oil. Add wine and cook for 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock. Cook until rice starts getting tender. Add more liquid if required. Slice courgettes and add them with peas into your risotto. Cook for until soft.

3. Add salt, pepper and herbes de Provence. Mix well. Serve with grated parmesan.

risotto provencal

risotto Provencal



About potatofaces

People who cook always go on about precious memories of childhood food one of their family members cooked, how daddy or nanny taught them the importance of cooking and eating together, and they still remember the comfort food they produced, amazing dishes whipped up by brilliant but humble cooks in their family. Well, let me tell you, it was totally different in my family. My mother’s family – totally useless as cooks, who could survive on bread and butter, cooked once a week a terrible, terrible meal, usually some kind of meat piece with lots of brown sauce. Also, they were never bothered about eating together. That’s maybe why most of them were depressed and suicidal. My mother followed that path and couldn’t really cook, and because I never wanted to eat meat, was warning me that ‘one day I will regret it’. Probably because my mother wasn’t into cooking my sister at the age of 12 took over and started producing amazing dinners and cakes. Well, luckily for me and her we weren’t that genetically doomed because apparently my father’s family were gifted in that compartment. I can only presume it was genes, as my father divorced my mother when my sis and me were little and he strongly believed that he also divorced us. So, we were growing up never having any contact with him and as a result, couldn’t learn how to cook from him. That’s why I believe the love of cooking ( and the ability) was just passed to us genetically. My father, short time before he died, unexpectedly felt an urge to contact us. First he gave my sister a mandolin (that’s another thing I know about him- he played a few instruments). My sister refused to talk to him, he then decided to contact me and wanted to spend some time with me. I didn’t want to, as he was a stranger to me (I was 11 or 12 at the time) but as I was promised I could leave whenever I wanted to, I went to the village he lived in. There I tried his mother’s cooking everyone was raving about. It was simple and amazing, I wish they were as family dedicated as they were at baking, cooking, making pastries, wine, tinctures, you name it. But I ate, drunk, and got bored of strangers who were my family and demanded to be let to go home. One of the last things my father said to me was that I should start learning English because I might need it one day, which I ignored for another 16 years… Because my sister was such a domestic goddess I wasn’t really bothered about cooking. I got hooked properly after my son was born and I wanted him to eat healthy and get everything he needed, especially that it wasn’t his choice to be a vegetarian (yet). And that is how the story begins…

7 responses »

  1. I like your twist on the traditional risotto. and although I’ve only seen one of your film choices 20 years later, French Kiss still manages to charm my socks off. Kline and Ryan elevate the entire affair, and their chemistry is what keeps the movie from being a trite experience.
    More than any other ’90s ingenue, Meg Ryan has an unbelievably honed sense of comedic timing, and that timing is on full display here.

  2. I really enjoyed your family cooking story! Thank you for that. It really hacks me off too, when people give out all these trite stories about granny’s girdle scones or whatever. Thank you for making me laugh. What about ‘Babette’s Feast’ for a duff film that makes you want to eat the food? I’m not knowledgeable about films but I liked the book and I loved the food, but the film seemed really stilted.

    • I mentioned the film ones, it makes me always want to throw a dinner party…I love the film, it’s got that Scandinavian feel and French flair all in one…Thank you, I wish my story was more like other people’s, home cooking and gathering around the table, would save me some dark moments in life, but you have to get over it and laugh it off.

  3. yeah I agree. Good luck on your journey.


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