Book Review: Pollan Family Table Cookbook

Book Review: Pollan Family Table Cookbook

book review the Pollan Family Table cookbook

As readers of this blog might remember, I am a fan of Michael Pollan, having reviewed his books here and here. His book The Omnivore’s Dilemma is one of my all time favorites and has a spot in the footer of every page on this blog. So last week I jumped at the chance to hear his mother and sisters talk about cooking, and dragged my husband along. It was an engaging evening; we liked them and ended up buying the book and getting it signed.

I was sorry not to have brought my good camera, and only got some terrible iPhone shots of them; the “least worst” one is shown below. They were thin and fun and all loved to both cook and eat. Their philosophy is everything in moderation, and only what you cook yourself. (The mom laughs that you won’t have too many potato chips if you have to make them!) They eat a lot of vegetables, but there are meat and fish recipes too. It turns out that one of the sisters is married to the actor Michael J. Fox, which was interesting, and the cookbook is sprinkled with family photos that include him. There are plenty of photographs of the recipes as well.

I spent some time over the weekend reading this cookbook, and trying the recipes, and got some great ideas from it. The recipes are easy to follow, without hard to find ingredients, and taste good. I think this paperback version that is just now out would make a wonderful Christmas gift for someone you love, or maybe yourself!

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I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Mary Jo Beebe 7 years ago

    Hi Polly! Question: Are there enough recipes in this book to make it worthwhile for a vegetarian to purchase? Thanks, MJ

    • Author
      Polly Castor 7 years ago

      I thought so, but maybe not for a vegan, for cheese is often present. I have many vegetarian cookbooks that either have hard to find ingredients or their recipes are very labor intensive, so were less worth the money than this book was, since I am not likely to turn to them that often. But these recipes are straightforward and can easily be done. So where there are a large percentage of vegetable recipes in this book, a large portion of them are ones I’d actually try, which is what actually makes it worth buying, in my opinion. I even learned information helpful for a vegetarian from their meat recipes, for example a much faster way to caramelize onions. Maybe check it out from the library first and see for yourself?

  2. Mary Jo Beebe 7 years ago

    Thanks, Polly. I’m grateful to say our library has this book! I’m looking forward to exploring it!

    • Author
      Polly Castor 7 years ago

      Great. Let me know what you think. I’m making the cauliflower tomorrow night!

  3. Gloria Boyd 7 years ago

    Thanks for the info Polly! I was sorry to miss this event but I’m glad you posted about it. I’m always looking for more good cookbooks to add to my collection.

  4. Mary Jo Beebe 7 years ago

    Polly, On the way home from the library–where we voted–YAY!, my husband opened to the “Crispy parmesan-zucchini chips” and said they looked good to him. That evening, I made this dish. We both loved their flavor. They could have been crispier. I think I will bake them a bit longer next time. I erred on the side of 10 minutes a side.

    Next, I’m trying the roasted balsamic haricots verts (fun to learn they are green beans) with slivered almonds.

    I love the photos in this cookbook–not just of the dishes, but of the people. This family inspires me! I love their enthusiasm for cooking together. I love seeing them at the family table–all together. I’m already figuring out a way we might do that at Thanksgiving. Our dining room is too small. I think I will get some sort of tables, empty the sun room and place us all together there! I want to get the 7 grandchildren around the table with us this year! The next challenge is the food. We have many picky eaters in our family! :)

    • Author
      Polly Castor 7 years ago



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