For Tracy Pollan, time away during the warmer months means turning up the heat in the kitchen with her sisters Lori and Dana and mom Corky, with whom she wrote the new cookbook Mostly Plants: 101 Delicious Flexitarian Recipes from the Pollan Family.
“When we’re all there together at the beach, we’ll sit down and do a big family meal together,” Tracy — who shares son Sam, 30, and daughters Aquinnah and Schuyler, 24, and Esmé, 17, with husband Michael J. Fox — tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
Then begins the planning process, which mother of three Dana, 56, says takes can take up to 48 hours.
“We’ll discuss who’s going to do what, who’s going to prepare that dish, or get the ingredients,” 63-year-old Lori, who also has three kids, adds. “Then we just all get together and it’s a lot of fun.”
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The Pollan clan consists of many vegetarians, so most summer meals at Corky’s Connecticut home consist of a vegetarian entrée, a big salad and a whole grain. Though Tracy claims the kids “look forward to a big huge tray of roasted vegetables,” Dana admits that they don’t love every dish.
“They’re so honest,” Dana says. “They’ll tell us, ‘I don’t think so.’”
But matriarch Corky, 90, gushes that she’s “always amazed” at her daughters’ cooking skills.
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And the Pollans always leave room for dessert, like their caramelized roasted pears (recipe below).
No matter what, all meals together come with “a lot of talking!” says Tracy.
Caramelized Roasted Pears with Fresh Ricotta
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 ripe but firm Bosc pears, halved length-wise and cored
5 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 oz. fresh ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp. honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°.
2. Place the butter in a 9×13-in. baking dish. Place the dish in the oven until the butter has melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and arrange the pears cut-side down in the melted butter. Roast the pears until tender, about 25 minutes.
3. Turn the pears cut-side up. Pour the vinegar over and roast for an additional 5 minutes.
4. Transfer the pears, cut-side up, to four serving plates. Spoon the juices from the baking dish over the pears and arrange 2 tablespoons of the cheese around each pear half. Drizzle with honey, add black pepper, and serve.
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes