Laura Wright’s The First Mess Cookbook weaves together approachable plant-based recipes, relatable real food stories, and sumptuous imagery. Recipes run the gamut from nourishing weeknight dinners to beautiful statement desserts, but through it all, Laura brings readers along – explaining ingredients and techniques, and sharing inspiration with the same thoughtful yet laid-back style evident on The First Mess blog.
Like many home cooks, I learned to cook from cookbooks. Over the years, I’ve made my way from general cookbooks with basic recipes to more specialized ones highlighting complicated techniques or those focused on a single cuisine. No matter the subject, the cookbooks I love most are those that carve out a place in my kitchen and shift my approach. The First Mess Cookbook is just such a favorite. It’s one of those instant classics that’s transformed my go-to salad dressing (her Creamy Cider and Sunflower dressing is a revelation) and inspired a more thoughtful approach to layering flavor. Laura’s book is also rich in fundamentals. Novices will benefit from her depth of knowledge and streamlined techniques and come away with smart, flavorful basics like wonderfully rich vegetable broth.
I recently caught up with Laura to ask about her approach to food and favorite recipes.