A new take on Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking

Linda McCartney’s book “Home Cooking” was the very first cookbook I ever bought ‒ back in 1992. Twenty-seven years later, I have re-discovered this book in my bookshelf. But while most of the recipes are still great today, the pictures in the book and the layout do not do them justice any more. So I decided to cook and photograph as many recipes as possible from this book, and to include gluten-free and vegan versions wherever possible. Read more about my idea to start cooking Linda’s recipes. Have fun browsing Linda’s recipes below, search by tag or have a look at some of my own recipes. You can also browse my photos.

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Linda's recipes

Asparagus Casserole with Sour Cream

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 80

Steamed asparagus, covered with flavoured sour cream, and baked in the oven.

This is a simple and quick way of preparing asparagus. I found the sour cream too dominating and also too heavy and would prefer a lighter dish. Using green asparagus might be good in this recipe as it gives you more flavour than the white asparagus I used.

Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

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Favourites Linda's recipes

Pecan Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 163

A light and fluffy cake that rises very well and is just perfect in the afternoon with a cup of tea.

As I do not like cakes too sweet, I reduced the sugar to 120g- and it still was quite sweet. I also made one cake with chocolate chips instead of pecans as my son is allergic to nuts.
The batter is very fluffy and light and rises very well- the only problem is that the pecans or chocolate chips sink to the bottom of the cake tin during baking. My daughter thought this was great- she asked me to share a slice with her. She chose the bottom half (with the chocolate!) and gave me the top…

Gluten-Free: I tried a flour mix from Austria, called “Biskuit& Kuchen Mix” from Mantler Mühle. It contains mainly corn-, potato- and rice flour plus some stabilizers with threatening E-numbers. It worked well for the cake, but seeing the list of ingredients I think I will not buy it again. You can use any gluten-free all-purpose flour for this recipe (e.g. Doves farm).

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Favourites Linda's recipes

Mexican Corn Bread

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 64

A moist corn bread with sweetcorn and cheddar cheese.

This corn bread recipe is my personal favourite from all corn bread recipes described in Linda’s book (see Cheese and Green Chilli Corn Bread on p. 93, Corn Bread on p. 61, and Corn Bread Mexiacan Style p. 63). It is moist and has a great crumbly consistency. It has a lot of flavour but is not too rich, and it is easy to make and to adapt as vegan or gluten-free. Another favourite! Great served with a big salad, soup or Chilli Non Carne.
The bread keeps well for 2-3 days. If you pop it in the microwave for a few seconds it tastes like fresh.

I wonder why Linda chose to add 85g of honey to the bread. I had reduced this to less than half and found the sweetish taste very unpleasant in this bread. I would suggest omitting the honey. Butter or margarine can also be reduced to 2 tbsp.

Variations: If you like a less spicy bread, use chopped red and green pepper instead of chillies. This also adds some colour to the bread.

Vegan: I used 25g of pureed silken tofu instead of the egg and omit the cheese. Add 2 tbps. of nutritional yeast and 80g of plant-based yoghurt if you like.

Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free flour instead of pastry flour (I used Plain Flour from Doves Farm).

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Greek Beefless Stew

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 100

A stew with vegetable burgers and potatoes, cooked in tomato-flavoured vegetable stock.

This stew needs a more interesting and balanced flavour. The cinnamon is too dominant, and adding some bay leaves and juniper berries gives a deeper flavour. I think that adding some chopped green peppers to the stew would be good.

Gluten-Free: Make sure the burgers you are using are gluten-free.

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Bisque of Mushroom

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 52

A creamy soup with an intense mushroom flavour and nice texture. It can be served as a starter or with bread and a salad as a light lunch. Serves 6-8 as a starter and 4 as a main course.

I reduced the butter to 25g for the white sauce and 15g for the mushrooms, and took 100g of cream.

Vegan: Both milk and cream can be substituted for plant-based alternatives. I used oat milk and oat cream and the taste was very balanced. The non-vegans at the table did not notice they were not eating dairy and enjoyed the soup very much.

Gluten-Free: For best results, use rice flour.

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Cottage Cheese Pie

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 96

A great pie with a potato filling that is light but very tasty. Definitely a favourite!

I was surprised to find that this Cottage Cheese Pie does not use any egg for the filling and that the amount of cottage cheese and sour cream used is quite small. For a pie, it is quite light but still very satisfying and just delicious! I used my own recipe for gluten-free shortcrust pastry and pre-baked the pastry for 15 minutes. I think this pie is best served warm, but cold leftovers also disappeared quickly!

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Favourites Linda's recipes

Aubergine Caponata

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 81

A cold dish with sautéd aubergine, celery, onion, capers, and olives, stewed in tomato sauce.

This is a great dish for a warm day. It needs to be prepared in advance, which means there is no work on the day it is served 🙂 .
We had my brother-in-law and his family around and enjoyed our lunch in the garden in lovely spring sunshine. I had also prepared a Cottage Cheese Pie (p. 96) which went very well with the Caponata. Serve with a salad or steamed vegetables (we had some crisp asparagus salad- yummy!).

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Linda's recipes

Jerusalem Artichokes in Lemon Parsley Sauce

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 138

Mashed jerusalem artichokes with herbs, lemon and butter.

This is actually the first time I have used jerusalem artichokes and thought they were amazing. I bought them in our local health-food store and thought that they felt a little old and gummy. Cooking them returned their crispness and preparing them as a mash seemed to be a lovely way of enjoying them. My family had never tasted jerusalem artichokes before and liked them straight away. Best served with any main dish and gravy.

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Tomato Soufflé

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 129

A light soufflé with a lot of tomato- great to accompany a salad.

Variations: I used 4 instead of 5 eggs with good results. With my oven, 200°C was too hot and the souflé started to turn dark very quickly. I would recommend baking it at 180°C instead.

By the way, this is the 200th recipe from Home Cooking that I have tried!! Only 108 to go 🙂 .

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Fried Rice

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 99

A recipe for fried rice with celery, onion, mushrooms and eggs.

This is an ideal recipe to use up any left-over rice. I think adding some spices such as chilli and curry powder or curry paste gives a more interesting flavour- otherwise the dish is quite plain. It is nice served with some steamed vegetables and maybe fried tofu cubes.