I have never been a huge fan of vegetarian cookbooks.
There I admit it.
I'm a voracious meat eater so the while vegetarian angle often seems limiting to the way I like to eat. Compensating with soy-based products didn't seem to be worth it either.
From start to finish Mary McCartney's cookbook is vegetarian, but you don't really focus on it when you start looking closely at the recipes. Perhaps the title should be an indication that the book is less about vegetarianism + more about food, lots of good food.
Mary not only provides the recipes, but also the pictures alongside. They are mouthwatering + vivid, so different from any other vegetarian cookbook I have read.
The book from start to finish looks like an ideal day of eating, starting with breakfast + brunch, + ending with desserts + baking. Along the way there are vibrant soups, salads with combinations you'll be itching to test + basics that will indeed become go-to recipes.
In the introduction Mary proclaims, "I like uncomplicated cooking" + so it seems throughout the cookbook. Nothing is time-consuming, everything looks relaxed + accessible.
The book is not the most innovative book out there, but delightful in its simple stories.
A picture of peaches will be followed with those peaches beautifully caramelized with butter + maple syrup. Images of potatoes in the dirt are then used in a roasted rosemary new potato recipe on the next page.
Often cookbooks try too hard for my style. Food is not naturally served with a perfectly scooped portion with lemon slices scattered about. The images are not forced, just shot. It almost looks like Mary could not wait to eat her creations after shooting.
Highlights include a lentil + feta salad, maple syrup baked peaches + apricots plus a hummus, avocado + chili jam sandwich.
The one questionable recipe to me is a vegetarian shepherd's pie with more ingredient than I have fingers + toes. It diverts away from the simplicity of the rest of the book, but no doubt it's probably delicious.
If there is any reason to hesitate checking out this book, maybe a picture of a young Mary McCartney on a horse with her famous father riding bareback is enough to sneak a peak? I think yes.