James Carrier

Patterns from Provence

Leg of Lamb with Figs and Lemons

Through the years, I've made no secret of my fondness for Provence in September, where I while away the month with friends over many a memorable meal. Though I don't attempt to cook in Provence style (feeling too laid-back to research recipes while I'm on vacation), I rejoice in the region's ingredients. All month, the fig tree drops soft, ripe fruit. When roasted with tender, mild local lamb, figs and lemons make a wonderful marriage: The heat caramelizes the figs, while thin lemon slices add enough tang to stave off insipid sweetness. By habit I keep notes of my culinary discoveries; they tell me I've repeated this time and again.

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