Vegetarian Cookbook Review: Food by Mary McCartney (plus recipes!)

mary mccartney food cover

Today, Eat Drink Better is the stop on food photographer and vegetarian cook Mary McCartney’s virtual book tour to promote her new book Food.

Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking is a gorgeous compilation of photos and simple, vegetarian recipes. Whether you’ve been meat free for a long time or are just dipping a toe into plant-based fare, this book provides recipes and inspiration to get anyone excited about stepping into the kitchen.

The book is very photo heavy. When I flipped through the copy the publishers sent me for the first time, I literally gasped checking out the gorgeous food photography. On top of photographs of the dishes themselves, there are photographic interludes between chapters that will have you craving everything from apples and berries to tomatoes and garlic.

Her recipes don’t require a lot of special ingredients or equipment, and they’re all fairly easy to put together. Some of my favorites included:

The book is vegetarian – not vegan – and some recipes rely pretty heavily on eggs and dairy, but there are a decent number of vegan recipes that I was able to try. In some recipes, like the spaghetti listed above, the animal ingredients are optional, and some are pretty simple to veganize, if you’re familiar with vegan cooking and basic vegan substitutions for animal ingredients.

Ready to check out some delicious recipes from Food? I’ve selected a few to share!

mary mccartney food sandwich

Hummus, Avocado and Chili Jam Sandwich

excerpted from Food by Mary McCartney

serves 1


  • 2 slices of sandwich bread, preferably a seeded or wholegrain loaf
  • 2 tablespoons hummus
  • 1 tablespoon chili pepper jam
  • 1/2 Haas avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
  • squeeze of lemon
  • small handful green salad leaves
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  • Spread the 2 slices of bread with 1 tablespoon each of hummus. Spread the chili jam on top of 1 slice, and then arrange a layer of avocado slices on top of that. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the avocado, then layer the greens on top and season with a little sea salt and black pepper. Sandwich the other slice of hummus-coated bread on top, and eat immediately. Yum.

mary mccartney food potato salad

New Potato and Asparagus Salad with Mustard Dressing

excerpted from Food by Mary McCartney

serves 2


  • 1 pound new potatoes, washed
  • 4 ounces thin asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard (wholegrain or smooth)
  • pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Place the new potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce the heat to medium so that the potatoes simmer gently for 12-15 minutes, depending on their side. Test them with a fork to make sure they are definitely cooked through. Then drain them and set aside to cool.
  • Simmer the asparagus in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Drain, halve crosswise, and cool.
  • To make dressing, mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard together, and season with a pinch of sea salt and some black pepper.
  • Place the new potatoes and asparagus in a medium salad bowl, pour the dressing over them and gently toss together well. Ready to serve.

mary mccartney food pasta

Zucchini and Lemon Spaghetti

excerpted from Food by Mary McCartney

serves 2


  • 7 ounces dried spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons light olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 4 ouncesΒ  feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste


  • First cook the spaghetti (check the package for specific instructions) by bringing a large saucepan of water to a boil, adding a couple of large pinches of sea salt and then the spaghetti. It should take about 8-10 minutes to cook. Stir every so often so the strands of pasta don’t stick together. When the pasta is just cooked (al dente), drain it in a colander, drizzle with a little olive oil and then mix to lightly coat the pasta and prevent the strands from sticking together. Set it aside.
  • You can use the same saucepan to make the sauce. Pour in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat, then add the zucchini and saute for 4-5 minutes, before adding the garlic and herbs and mixing well. Saute for a couple more minutes, to allow all the flavors to come together and the zucchini to cook through.
  • Return the cooked spaghetti to the pan and heat through, then mix in the cheese (if using) and lemon zest, and season with a little sea salt (you may not need much since the feta is salty) and a good grind of black pepper. Serve, with a little more grated cheese sprinkled over, if you wish.

Written by Becky Striepe


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  1. This book is truly awesome. It is literally packed a lot of delicious recipes that I have not come across. I am sure I can try a lot of new things with it. πŸ™‚


    • Enjoy it, Julie! Ever since I got it, I have been pulling it out just to stare at the beautiful food photography. Sometimes even when I don’t have any plans to cook!

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