In her new cookbook, Salt & Time, Alissa Timoshkina reconnects with her Siberian birthplace and memories of snow crunching under her feet, offering her own “aesthetic take of Russian food.”
Russian food is often seen as filling, bland, and heavy. Timoshkina hopes to change that perception, sharing recipes that show that Russian food is more than just borscht, cabbage, and caviar-topped blinis. While she also includes recipes for those dishes, her entries nod to her Ashkenazi roots and encompass dishes from pre-Revolutionary Russia, the Soviet era, and Central Asian cuisines, not to mention authentic Siberian dishes and family classics. They are arranged according to type, from appetizers and soups to main dishes and desserts. Lovely photographs add to the flavor of the book without becoming a dominant feature.
Short introductory paragraphs share fond memories, histories, and other interesting information. Recipes for Kholodets, a traditional New Year’s Eve appetizer made of a rich, jellied beef aspic and pulled beef; Koulebiaka, a pastry encrusted salmon pie; Siberian Pelmeni dumplings; and Bird Cherry Cake are among the book’s trove of dishes. All are presented in easy-to-follow recipes, and there’s something for cooks at every level to enjoy.
Many of the recipes include less familiar ingredients; a four-page introduction to the Russian pantry helps, as does a list of suppliers where each item can be procured. And since no Russian cookbook would be complete without chapters on pickling and fermenting, the book includes that information, too, as well as a chapter on drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Salt & Time is a welcoming addition to cooks’ libraries, full of good information about a cuisine that is often misunderstood.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.