The Bar Tartine Cookbook is a Dream Come True for DIY-Obsessed Urban Homesteaders

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

The book: Bar Tartine by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns

The angle: Urban homesteading with a bit of a Scandinavian vibe, plus plenty of recipes to put your DIY goods on the table.

Recipes for right now: Hoshigaki (Dried Persimmons), Parsnip Powder, Kefir Cream, Pine Oil, Brussels Kraut, Black Garlic & Lentil Soup, Cauliflower Salad with Yogurt & Chickpeas, Rye Pound Cake with Pear Sherbet & Chestnuts

Who would enjoy this book? Anyone obsessed with preserving all the things.

Quick Facts

Who wrote it: Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns (co-chefs at Bar Tartine)

Who published it: Chronicle

Number of recipes: Over 150

Other highlights: If you made a Venn diagram of all the things with which food lovers are currently obsessed — fermented foods, preserving and foraging, Scandinavian aesthetics, Japanese flavors — this cookbook would be sitting squarely in the middle. It captures the zeitgeist like no other cookbook I’ve seen this year.

The first half is all about techniques: drying, curing, sprouting, preserving, fermenting, and on down the urban homesteader’s list. Some of the techniques will be familiar to anyone who’s jumped aboard this particular train, but don’t skip over this section — it has building blocks for the recipes that follow and magical tidbits like Burnt Bread Powder, Pine Oil, and Fermented Honey.

The second half jumps into the recipes, which are often complex and multi-layered (even setting aside the various pickled and preserved ingredients that need to be made ahead of time). But don’t be intimidated or dismayed — there is a bounty of inspiration to be gleaned from these recipes, even if you don’t make them from start to finish. The way the folks at Bar Tartine play with flavor and texture deserves its own culinary school course.

Bar Tartine is the sister restaurant to San Francisco’s famous Tartine Bakery, and they share a similar spirit: quiet, mindful, and intense. This book is way (way) more than a restaurant cookbook; it’s an education for anyone with a deep love for preserved foods and a penchant for kitchen experimentation.

Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Bar Tartine by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns

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