ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

The Organic Family Cookbook

Growing, Greening, and Cooking Together

Foreword Review

Every year, a deluge of new cookbooks hits the shelves, promising to give insight into fluffier pastries, richer sauces, and healthier (but still tasty) dinners. But it’s likely that few of them in the current crop will have the type of warmth and depth found in this collection.

Written by Anni Daulter, an “eco-mama,” professional cook, and advocate for sustainable living, the cookbook is an artful blend of personal stories from the author’s family, tips on living more simply, and easy-to-follow recipes derived from wholesome ingredients.

Daulter encourages readers to grow a garden, work together as a family to employ more green strategies, support farmers’ markets, have eco-friendly parties, and buy organic produce. These tactics are nestled among truly sumptuous dishes that usually require just a short list of ingredients and a minimum amount of time.

Included are tasty breakfast items like warm berry quinoa with honey butter to simple snacks like kale chips to quick “homespun extras” like strawberry-mango salsa. Daulter’s dinner options tend to be familiar—linguini, barbeque chicken, French onion soup—but she puts a fresh spin on them; for example, including chia seeds and homemade catsup in the BBQ chicken recipe.

Photographs by Alexandra DeFurio add to the sumptuous feel and complement Daulter’s writing and recipes perfectly. With an emphasis on texture and rich colors, the photos display the beauty within a just-cut heirloom tomato or a still-steaming hunk of bread. They don’t serve merely to show cooks what a dish should look like, but offer a glimpse into a world where anyone can make butternut squash soup that is luscious and soulful.

With its unique blend of story and simplicity, this cookbook is a standout, and deserves to come off the bookshelf and onto the kitchen counter regularly.

Elizabeth Millard