It's a while since I've been really excited by a cookbook (Christmas - Anja Dunk's Advent - really brilliant) and I feel a bit of a hypocrite for writing about this one whilst eating leftover trifle straight from the bowl, but Nistisma is fabulous. Its food associated with fast days in the orthodox religion - no meat, fish, dairy means it's vegan too (although honey is traditionally used in some of these dishes, Hayden also gives substitutes for it) hence the trifle guilt.
I grabbed a copy of this as soon as I saw it at work. I'm not always a fan of vegan cookbooks, but I need vegan choices for my wedding and this looked like an excellent place to start getting inspiration from. It lived up to its promise and more besides. It's amazing what a shift in perspective can do - and here it's the sense of tradition that attracts me. It's also that it's a lot of really delicious sounding food that happens to be vegan.
The reach of the orthodox church is also helping here - so there's plenty of Mediterranean food, but also food from Russia, Ukraine, and indeed much of eastern Europe, Egypt, Turkey, and more. That's a lot of things to be excited about. I'm also really pleased to find a drinks section - I'm always after good alcohol-free options that have some complexity to them. There's a lovely sounding citrus cordial in here, some very tempting kvass recipes (will this be the ferment that gets me going on the whole process?), and some spiced honey drinks I'm very taken with too.
Again though, it's a book full of delicious sounding things that are making me excited for summer and some of the vegetables to be in season. There are a lot of salads I want to try, and a few things I think will work for wedding food, so altogether I'm delighted with this book. Finally reading it over the Easter weekend was timely (and even better than chocolate).