Spring means getting back in the garden and trying new things in the kitchen. These books from local tastemakers provide ample inspiration for the two activities.
Salad & Pickles by Cornersmith
The first book by the Cornersmith team introduced readers to the story of the Sydney cafe, its food philosophy and community-based approach. “This book is focused on the shared love of vegetables of Sabine and I,” explains Alex Elliott-Howery, Cornersmith’s co-founder. Sabine Spindler is head chef and chief salad creator at their two cafes. “We’ve chosen our two favourite things – salads and pickles, and have made a book which shows you how to eat seasonally, eat more vegetables and teaches you why pickling and preserving is important in modern kitchens. We’ve also included our tips on reducing kitchen waste and ideas on how to use up what you have in your fridge and garden,” she says.
With recipes like fried green tomatoes with herbed kefir, and new harvest potatoes with fresh peas, mint and brown-butter vinaigrette, Salad & Pickles highlights simple and unexpected pairings for each season. “Sabine’s salads blow my mind,” Elliott-Howery says, “and you’ll want to have a bath in that brown-butter dressing.”
Cornersmith’s fast-growing cooking school will offer a series of Waste Warrior Workshops in October to coincide with the release of the book.
Pre-ordering available now, books will be mailed on October 13. cornersmith.com.au/products/saladsandpickles
All Things Sweet by Bourke St Bakery
Baker Paul Allan and patissier David McGuinness have built a bakery empire since opening their small Surry Hills outpost in 2004. They now have 11 stores across Sydney with plans for further expansion. Their success and longevity can be attributed to the commitment to baking in-house and consistency of products.
Bourke St Bakery’s second cookbook is a tribute to the sweet stuff and includes recipes of the many treats that come and go behind the counter. There’s also some recipes updated since the original self-titled 2009 book, to reflect changes in technique and ingredients over time.
“A favourite recipe from this book for me is the amaretti biscuit. It’s really very simple and the result is what I consider the best amaretti I have eaten,” says McGuinness.
Pre-ordering available now, books will be mailed in October. booktopia.com.au/bourke-street-bakery-all-things-sweet-paul-allam
OSTRO by Julia Busuttil Nishimura
This is a generous cookbook of hearty, produce-inspired meals “that slowly weave their way into the fabric of your daily life,” Nishimura says. An Australian of Maltese descent, married to a Japanese man with an Italian culinary background, Nishimura produces aspirational dishes – simple, diverse and encouraging us to finally give things like handmade pasta a go.
“Fresh pasta is always a real treat to make and eat. There's a whole pasta chapter but I especially love to make the ricotta tortelloni with butter, sage and hazelnuts. Filled pasta takes a little extra time time, but it's always well worth the effort and I especially love to make these for my family,” Nishimura says.
Pre-ordering available now, books will be mailed on September 1. booktopia.com.au/ostro-julia-busuttil-nishimura
Real Food by Mike by Mike McEnearney
Real Food By Mike is a comprehensive look at seasonal wholefood recipes. Here, McEnearney (No 1 Bent Street in Sydney) approaches eating as medicine, focusing on edible flora and fauna at the core of his recipes.
He developed a more medicinal approach to eating after living on his partner’s family’s organic farm in the UK. “During our time there, a local ‘apothecary’ naturopath sectioned off four beds in the kitchen garden to create a Hippocratic garden, using the [Greek philosopher’s] four humours of the body as her guide,” McEnearney says. “Not only were these beds beautiful to look at, they were also stuffed full of medicinal plants and herbs to help relieve medical symptoms. It was fascinating to me that she looked at these herbs as medicinal, while I saw them as culinary. From that moment, the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ became truly profound to me.”
With recipes like pot-roasted shoulder of lamb cooked in buttermilk with roasted pears and potatoes, and roast chicken with verjuice, white grapes and tarragon, McEnearney demonstrates that cooking can be both indulgent and healthy.
In all good bookstores and online now.
The Cocktail Garden by Adriana Picker
With beautiful, detailed illustrations by Adriana Picker, The Cocktail Garden is as much an art book as it is a cookbook. Botanical cocktail recipes have been authored by ACME’s Ed Loveday, who has based the recipes around herbs, plants, fruits and flowers that can be enjoyed in cocktails with each turn of the season.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Ed’s sophisticated, yet simple approach to cocktails for years so to work with him on this was a dream,” Picker says. “We both wanted the focus of the book to be on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Accessible and uncomplicated recipes are a tool to enhance what Ed and I both like doing best – having a good old time. Getting a little bit drunk was an important part of our research.”
The Cocktail Garden is 176 pages of colourful, illustrated botanica; it’s the kind of book that will live between the kitchen and the coffee table.
In all good bookstores and online now.