Here we take toothy chunks of carrots, parboil them, fast roast them in the oven with allspice, and finish them off with a garnish of minced preserved lemon and fresh garlic.
Be prepared to fry the potatoes twice: once to cook them so they fluff inside and again to get them crispy on the outside. When I use an electric fryer, I always follow the manufacturer's instructions. To make good fries in a pot on the stove, a deep-fat thermometer is essential. It ensures that the oil is at the proper temperature for deep-frying and lets you check that the oil isn't overheating, a potentially dangerous situation. A mandoline is a very useful slicing tool for cutting the potatoes (and other vegetables) quickly and to a uniform size. Both the deep-fat thermometer (also called a candy thermometer) and the mandoline are available at most cookware stores. The third essential is a pot that is large and tall enough to contain the oil without overflowing when the potatoes are slipped in.
In this simple and unusual first course or side dish, spears of asparagus and like-shaped scallions are grilled until caramel brown and then dressed in a mustard vinagrette.
In this recipe, Nicoise olives are marinated in flavorful rosemary oil with masses of rosemary leaves, a simple technique that imparts a wonderful flavor to the olives and seems to intensify their own. The rosemary is cooked in the oil, so it keeps its green color for several weeks. Packed into French canning jars, these olives look like they were homemade in Provence. They make a perfect instant hors d' oeuvre with chilled wine or cocktails.
In our house, Chanukah means latkes, potato pancakes. All five of us love latkes. What's not to like about potatoes fried in oil? We always have them at least once on Chanukah; often more, as our kids clamor for them. Over the past decade, my husband, Jeffrey, became our household's chief latkemaker, in part, I think, in response to my tendency to try to make them a little healthier. "Lots of oil is key," he'll declare as I attempt to demonstrate that you can make "perfectly good" latkes with only a thin film of oil or, even worse, with cooking spray instead of oil. I have to admit that, while a minimal amount of oil does make "perfectly good" latkes, a substantial amount of oil makes perfect latkes.
A moutabel dip is a must on the Eastern Mediterranean mezze table. A traditional Syrian specialty, it was usually made with eggplant, but nowadays there are a variety of moutabels, such as beet, potato and zucchini.
This salad says summer and is a foil for the steak. It is a simplified version of one I ate recently in Spain.
This is a classic Provençal gratin, one of my favorite dishes from the region. It's bound with rice and egg, it's great cold or hot, and if you have more summer squash than you know what to do with, look no further.
Make this hash for a weekend brunch or as an easy weeknight supper. I like to serve it with a tossed green salad or a steamed vegetable and a crusty loaf of bread. Pass Tabasco or other hot sauce at the table; the vinegary, smoky flavor of hot sauce complements the rutabagas, bacon, and chiles. Poach eggs to place on top of this hearty hash. The runny soft-cooked eggs are a perfect accompaniment.