December 09, 1996 12:00 PM

by Patricia Wells

The South of France-farmhouse fantasy is alive and well in this glossy book that could do double duty on the coffee table. Wells inhabits a world—and an 18th-century mas in Vaison-la-Romaine—where good friends gather to create pieces de resistance with fruit from their orchards, vegetables off the vine and rabbits from the hutch. But the recipes, which range from the simple (Seared Tomatoes) to the earthy (Olive Oil Brioche) to classic bistro fare (Poulet aux Fines Herbes), are surprisingly unintimidating. (Scribner’s, $40)

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