The Acorn Cookbook

In their first cookbook, Shira Blustein and Brian Luptak—The Acorn’s owner and chef—share their truly unique recipes, highlighting the endless possibilities that come when cooking with the seasonal and wild-crafted ingredients gifted to us by nature. From practical to playful, inspired recipes that reveal the hidden potential of plants.

One of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver as well as one of my favourite Vegetarian in Canada.  Over the years I have often visited the restaurant to dine in each of the seasons. This book celebrates those 4 seasons and features recipes featuring plants and other items grown or available in the seasons. In addition to food they also feature a chapter devoted to cocktails. The book also celebrates the regions farmers who supply their restaurant some of which includes North Arm Farm in Pemberton. The Acorn Essentials has a feature on oils and how to make some specific oils such as Black Currant leaf oil or Black shallot oil. Additionally, there is a feature on Vinegars and how to make some unique ones that include Quince Vinegar, and Stinging Nettle Sake Vinegar.

The recipe chapters are structured by season, with an Essentials chapter at the start of the book—full of pickles, vinegars, oils, and plant-based alternatives—and a Cocktails chapter at the back. All the recipes are broken into components and range from the simple but sublime Spring Radishes with Ashed Spring Onion Almond Sauce, Fried Garlic Scapes or Stinging Nettle Soup, to the intriguing Fried Zucchini Blossoms with Fermented Zucchini Purée and Apricot Chili Sauce, Smoked Caramelized Parsnip and Potato Pâté, or Squash and Chanterelle Gnocchi. And the recipes focus on minimizing waste and maximizing the potential of each plant—as the stems of one recipe become the pickled star of another.

Encouraging us all to be adventurous with our vegetables, Acorn offers a year’s worth of seasonal recipes, infused with brilliant creativity. Visually compelling, and masterfully thought through, Acorn takes vegetarian cooking to the next level, and is a cookbook to read, admire, and inspire.

You can get the cookbooks online from Indigo and other bookstores throughout the country.

By: Richard Wolak

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