Musician, photographer and activist Linda McCartney helped pioneer meat-free cooking in contemporary culture more than 30 years ago, sharing her passion for vegetarian food with her famous British family, before being diagnosed with breast cancer a few years later.
Now husband Paul and children Mary and Stella have re-invented Linda’s best-loved recipes and family favourites for a new cookbook Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen.
Linda’s legacy lives on in this collection of 100 simple and sustainable plant-based recipes.
Sweet potato rosti with avocado, coriander and chilli
Packed with flavour and so moreish, sweet potatoes are a great source of minerals and vitamins, particularly C and E. They are also rich in fibre, which is great for the digestive system. And all the vegies in this count towards your five a day.
- 600g sweet potato, peeled
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and very finely chopped
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 5 tbsp chickpea flour or plain white flour
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive
- oil, plus extra to fry
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 ripe avocados
- chopped coriander leaves
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
- lime wedges (optional)
- Coarsely grate the sweet potato. Place it in the centre of a clean tea towel, roll the towel up and squeeze out as much liquid as possible over a sink, twisting the towel as you go.
- Tip the sweet potato into a bowl and mix with the red onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, flour and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt and half a teaspoon of black pepper, then use clean hands to bring everything together.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to a large non-stick pan and place it over a medium-low heat. Take 2 tablespoons of the sweet potato mixture in your hand and tightly compact it into a ball, then gently flatten it into a disc and place it in the hot pan. Repeat with more of the mixture, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the rosti for 4-5 minutes until golden on one side, then gently flip over and fry for another 4-5 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and continue until you’ve used all the mixture, adding more oil as needed.
- Halve the avocados, remove the stones and slice the flesh. Plate up the rosti and avocado, season and scatter over the coriander leaves and chilli. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve immediately with lime wedges if desired.
Deep dish pie
This is a totally gorgeous pie – bring this to the table and everyone will sigh with delight. And as we use ready-made vegan pastry and burgers or meatballs, it is easy to put together. The pastry is widely available but just check the ingredients label to make sure it is vegan. A bowl of green peas is the perfect accompaniment.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 250g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp white spelt or plain flour
- 480g vegan meatballs (or burgers), roughly chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, leaves only
- 250ml vegetable stock
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 320g vegan puff pastry sheet
- plant-based milk of your choice, to brush over
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Put the oil into a large non-stick frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and saute for 12-15 minutes until the mushroom juices have been released and have evaporated, so the pan is mostly dry and the mushrooms are golden.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes until aromatic. Mix in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the vegetarian meatballs or burgers, thyme and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the mustard, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 3 minutes. Season to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 200C fan-forced (or 220C conventional). Turn a 23cm pie dish upside down and place it on top of the rolled-out sheet of puff pastry.
- Cut around the perimeter of the dish, leaving an extra centimetre of pastry overlapping. Turn the dish right side up and tip in the pie mixture. Dampen the rim of the dish with a little water, then carefully place the puff pastry lid on top and crimp the edges into place.
- If you like, you can use the leftover pastry to create cut-outs for the top of the pie – leaves, letters or whatever you like. Brush the pastry gently with a little milk and make a hole in the centre of the pastry for the steam to escape while the pie is cooking.
- Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional) and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the pastry is deeply golden and crisp. Serve immediately.
Gingerbread is a much-loved classic bake and this dairy-free version is wonderfully squidgy, sticky and satisfying. This is great just as it is or, when served with some plant-based vanilla ice-cream, it makes a delightful pudding.
- 120g non-dairy butter, plus extra to grease
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 3 tbsp warm water
- 120g unrefined or caster sugar
- 225g white spelt, plain white flour or gluten-free flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 120ml unsweetened plant-based milk of your choice
- 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses or treacle
- maple syrup
- non-dairy yoghurt or cream
- Preheat the oven to 150C fan-forced (180C conventional). Grease an 18cm round cake tin with non-dairy butter and line with baking paper. Put the flax seeds into a bowl with the warm water and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the non-dairy butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Fold in the flaxseed mixture, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and milk until smooth. Gently heat the molasses or treacle until runny, then fold into the batter.
- Transfer the batter to the cake tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and non-dairy yoghurt or cream.
This is an edited extract from Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen: Over 90 plant-based recipes to save the planet and nourish the soul by Linda, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, Hachette Australia, RRP $49.99. Buy now