Crostini are simply small slices of toasted or grilled bread, usually made with baguette or ciabatta, that make a perfect base for dips, spreads, cheeses, vegetables, or pâtés.

This brightly flavored, chunky mix of marinated feta and olives takes center stage on an elegant cheese board. Thinly sliced garlic, orange zest, oregano, cumin seeds, and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes gives the marinade complexity and brightness.

Making empanadas is a labor of love. The recipe for our pint-size version, which streamlines the process by calling for store-bought pie dough, can also be assembled ahead of time and baked just before serving

Duchess potatoes are an elegant, French-pedigreed classic in which mashed potatoes are enriched with egg, piped into decorative rosettes, and baked until golden brown. The egg lightens the potato, creating an almost weightless, dainty fluff that contrasts with the crispy, craggy exterior. In 1867, an article in Galaxy magazine lamenting the state of American cooking noted duchess potatoes on the menu of a rare good dinner. For the next century, the dish made regular appearances on the menus of country clubs, ocean liners, and fancy-pants restaurants, but by the 1970s, it seemed stuffy and out of step with the times, and it fell into culinary disrepute. Which is a shame, because duchess potatoes really are something very special.


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Serene and surreal: West Bank olive harvest comes with tradition, tension

Traditionally, olive harvest in the West Bank is a time of serenity. More recently, however, it has become a major point of friction between Israeli settlers and Palestinians.