Proust had madeleines; Paula Wolfert has eggplants. Her love of nightshades was seeded in her childhood, and this is her best guess at her grandmother’s recipe for a Balkan eggplant spread she often made when Paula was growing up. Tangy and only faintly garlicky, it’s an ideal accompaniment to just about anything: grilled skewered meats (like the sausages that follow), grilled fish or vegetables, or spread on bread in a turkey or tofu sandwich. —Emily Kaiser ThelinExcerpted from Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life Slideshow: More Eggplant Recipes
This is Paula’s brilliantly approachable take on one of the most iconic restaurant dishes ever invented, the gargouillou of chef Michel Bras of Laguiole, France. Paula introduced Bras to the United States in an article she wrote about him in 1987. Like all her favorite chefs, he elevates the humble peasant foods of his region. Gargouillou is traditionally a Laguiole vegetable soup flavored with ham. Bras deconstructs it, blanching the vegetables separately, tossing them with crisped pancetta, and garnishing them with foraged flowers and weeds. That version has since spawned dozens of homages around the world. But when Paula published this recipe in World of Food in 1988, its name was little known, so she called it Spring Vegetables in the Style of Laguiole.In Paula’s home-cook adaptation, the vegetables are sequentially blanched in the same pot, starting with the ones that need the most water. The process yields a pleasingly intense vegetable stock for the sauce. Don’t let the long list of vegetables intimidate you. In fact, Paula wrote, “There is no precise way to execute the following recipe; the fun is playing around with it.”—Emily Kaiser ThelinExcerpted from Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life Slideshow: More Vegetable Recipes
A Madrid chef who dares to experiment with paella inspires an American cook
Although there are innumerable versions of cassoulet, most are based on a stew of white beans and various forms of pork. The dish gets its name from the pot it's traditionally baked in, the cassole (see Note), which is often shaped like a wide inverted cone to insure the greatest amount of luscious crust. This version by acclaimed cookbook author Paula Wolfert includes duck confit and the French garlic sausages that are a specialty of Toulouse. More French Recipes
This "bread" is Tangier's version of socca, the chickpea flour–based pancake of Nice, France, but it's much thicker and more custardy, like flan. Moroccans eat it by the slice on the street, sprinkled with cumin or smeared with harissa, but it's also delicious spread with cold salads, like Fresh Tomato and Caper Salad. More Moroccan Recipes
Any thick, beefy fish will work with this dish, such as sea bass, bluefish, or tuna; I make it here with swordfish. The fish is cooked at low temperature in an aromatic broth spiked with tomato, garlic, and oregano, allowing it to absorb the rich flavors while still remaining moist and succulent.