Classic Recipes to Ring In the New Year

To kick off a new decade, acclaimed cookbook author Anissa Helou hosted a dinner in her Sicilian home. Her time-tested recipes for roast chicken bathed in rose water, a fresh herb salad and pistachio-studded rice make a festive menu for any New Year’s gathering

WHEN ANISSA HELOU invites you to dinner, you say yes. The renowned cook recently moved to Trapani, the ancient Sicilian city that’s the westernmost point of Italy. I was eager to visit the local markets and cook alongside her there.

“In Sicily I feel like I’ve come home,” said Ms. Helou, a leading authority on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking and the author of nine cookbooks. “The rusticity of the island and the immediacy of the produce, which comes from small farms and has vivid flavors, reminds me of what I...