The Apple Pan, Gjelina Take Away & The Lazy Ox Canteen

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I’m terrible at geography (please don’t ask me to find Iowa on a map) but I’m wonderful at food geography, especially when I know a city really well. In New York, friends would call me on a regular basis with queries like: “I’m going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and need a place for an afternoon snack before going to a 5 PM chamber music concert at The Frick.” (Answer: Cafe Sabarsky.) Here in L.A., though, I’m on shaky ground (earthquakes notwithstanding). I’m new here and when a food geography issue arises, I’m not as quick on my feet. But I’m getting better.

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Oh, Ottolenghi: Fennel and Feta with Pomegranate Seeds and Sumac / Couscous with Apricots and Butternut Squash

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A year or two ago, my friends Lauren and Amy gifted me with a cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi called “Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.” And even though it’s a beautiful, tall book with colorful pictures and herb-flecked recipes from Israel by way of London, I hardly ever used it. I made mental notes to cook from it–the sumac chicken, for example–but nothing ever happened. And then something did, finally, happen: Ottolenghi published another book, Plenty, that’s all the rage now. Instead of running out and buying that, I reopened the Lauren/Amy Ottolenghi book and discovered a world of wonders within. I decided to cook two recipes from it for a dinner that I cooked for my friends Kenny and Brendan.

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