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Elizabeth David

Recipe: Lamb tagine with layered onions

Recipe: Lamb tagine with layered onions

I've always done my armchair traveling through cookbooks — whether it's Elizabeth David's Mediterranean, Fuschia Dunlop's Sichuan or Claudia Roden's Middle East. My copy of Paula Wolfert's original "Couscous & Other Good Food From Morocco"is stained and worn, with notes scribbled in the margins, marks of so many dinner parties through the years.

But so much changed since Wolfert published that book in 1973. Just think in terms of ingredients available now, such as argan oil, Moroccan cumin or real saffron. Her publisher urged her to revise the book, but Wolfert doesn't do anything by halves. She ended up rewriting and expanding it to more than 500 pages. In...