Cookbook of the Week: The Pollan Family Table

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Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week: The Pollan Family Table: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom for Delicious, Healthy Family Meals (Scribner)

The Team: Tracy, Lori, and Dana Pollan and their mother, Corky; photographer John Kernick. Tracy is an Emmy-nominated actress, Lori is a certified Life Coach, Dana cofounded the Pollan-Austen Fitness Center in New York City, and Corky was Style Director at Gourmet magazine. 

The Cuisine: Everyday American home cooking. Well, everyday home cooking of a particularly healthy American family that has access to beautiful, organic raw ingredients. These four women aren’t professional cooks, but they do make dinner every dayand, together, they feed their extended 21-person, three-generation family on certain weekends and holidays. That means, as brother Michael Pollan writes in his foreword to the cookbook, “this eminently practical cookbook really works.” And that also means, when it comes to this family, dishes rich in vegetables, whole grains, and beans, and lower in fat and processed ingredients. 

Who Should Buy It: Those who want to bring back the real family meal. No “solitary eating in front of the television or computer,” as Michael describes. No frozen microwaveable entrées. Honest-to-goodness meals made from whole foods.

Who Shouldn’t: Even though this book details pantry items that will make everyday cooking easier and homemade sauces and dressings that can be prepared in batches and kept on hand for weeks, if you’re beholden to the frozen-meal aisle, this book is not for you. You’ve got to make the time to cook dinner from scratch.

Must-Make Recipes: Creamy Spinach Pasta Alfredo with Crispy Pancetta, Parmesan-Zucchini Chips, Maple-Balsamic Root Vegetable Fries as a Thanksgiving side, Crispy Crunchy Apple Crumble for any time.

Noteworthy: Two Michaels are important to this family: Actor Michael J. Fox is Tracy’s husband, and she’s been on the board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research since its inception in 2000. Journalist and author Michael Pollanwho won a James Beard Foundation Award for his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, is their brother. 

More Cookbooks of the Week:
Tyler Florence’s Inside the Test Kitchen
Gabrielle Hamilton’s Prune
Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen
Ina Garten: Make It Ahead