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The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons from San Francisco's Beloved Restaurant by Judy Rodgers

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    2003 James Beard Award Winner

    International Association of Culinary Professionals Award Winner

    See Lisa Is Cooking's take on Zucchini pickles and Open-faced apple tart from this book.

  • DKennedy on October 21, 2014

    T-day brine at p. 402

  • DKennedy on November 21, 2013

    This book is essential to have in your collection more for reading, cover to cover, and absorbing every lesson contained within it's covers, than for any one recipe. I have started underlining whole passages, eg. the passage re dried beans on p. 263.

  • NHNonni on November 29, 2011

    Asparagus and Rice Soup with Pancetta and Black Pepper (pg. 166) - I love to make this when fresh asparagus comes to New England in the spring. Rich, intense flavors - wonderful. Also can recommend her Zucchini Pickles (pg. 269) and Red Onion Pickles (pg. 270).

  • DKennedy on July 13, 2011

    My go to recipe for mashed potatoes.

  • a237916 on February 17, 2010

    This is probably my favorite cookbook, ever. Such detailed information and the recipes are amazing! Some of the information, like details about making stock, was truly eye opening. I am a better cook today because of Judy!

  • memagee on January 14, 2010

    I worked for Judy at Zuni and her detailed and adjective laden writing is the same as spoken in real life. Wonderful chef, wonderful book.

  • Cramnella on January 14, 2010

    I haven't made more than a handful of the recipes here, but this is hands down the most beautifully written cookbook I have ever read.

  • crjoburke on December 26, 2009

    Creative recipes. Revolutionary instructions and information about salting meat, and poultry before cooking ("dry brining")

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Zuni chicken stock

    • kjwright on April 25, 2012

      I love this method for chicken stock - it's very forgiving, realistic, and works well for the applications in which I use stock. Yummy, too!

    • jodies on December 16, 2015

      This is the best chicken stock ever (and I’ve tried many).

  • Salami with raw favas, mint, and Manchego cheese

    • Breadcrumbs on July 09, 2011

      NB: Joan from Chowhound says this is on her all-time greatest hits list. Must try!

  • Coppa and warm parslied potato salad with roasted peppers

    • westminstr on January 20, 2016

      The absolute best method for boiling potatoes for potato salad.

  • Air-dried beef with butter lettuce and coriander vinaigrette

    • wester on May 24, 2011

      I thought this was good, but not as brilliant as some other dishes in this cookbook. It definitely needs much more coriander - doubling it is not enough - and it needs to be toasted for longer. It is very pretty even when you don't follow the plating instructions, with its contrast of dark red and bright green. I made some scrambled eggs with herbs to go with this, some nice bread, and called it a nice summery main course.

    • westminstr on January 20, 2016

      I modified this to make as a salad. I made the dressing as directed and the amount of coriander was fine for me. I also liked the coriander flavor with the bresaola.

  • Farro and tomato salad with basil and anchovies

    • Zosia on July 29, 2014

      I omitted the anchovies to keep this vegetarian and that was a huge mistake! The farro had great texture and a lovely nutty flavour but even with fabulous summer tomatoes and cucumbers, the salad was bland without them. I reduced the oil by half but even then, when the salad was first assembled, it seemed very oily. The author directs you to serve the dish immediately but I found that it benefited from sitting, allowing the juices from the tomatoes and cucumbers to help create a dressing of sorts. I added extra vinegar just before serving, which helped, but next time, I won't mess with the recipe!

  • Rosemary grilled chicken livers and bacon with balsamic onion marmalade toasts

    • mirage on January 16, 2010

      Balsamic Onion Marmalade is very good. Didn't do the rest.

  • Mixed lettuces and greens with garlic croutons

    • westminstr on January 06, 2016

      I really liked this simple salad, yummy garlic croutons! The kiddos did not like the croutons though.

  • Butter lettuce with oranges, avocado and shallot vinaigrette

    • sfcarole on June 21, 2012

      This salad is the perfect foil for sweet fresh Dungeness crab. Mix a little of the citrus dressing in with the crabmeat and place a large ice cream scoop of the crab mixture on top of each salad.

    • mirage on January 01, 2016

      Pretty salad

  • Shredded radicchio with anchovy vinaigrette, breadcrumbs and sieved egg

    • sfcarole on November 09, 2012

      This is a great salad. I've made it with the radicchio called for, but also with sliced up endive. A large portion can serve as a weeknight meal with some crostini of tapenade and goat cheese on the side.

  • Zuni Caesar salad

    • aberne on September 06, 2011

      Amazing--super garlicky, and for those fearless of strong breath afterwards, but worth every stinking bite. Don't skip using the raw egg--it's what makes the dressing so beautifully thick and viscous.

    • Breadcrumbs on January 29, 2013

      p. 154 I’m happy to declare this to be our new “go-to” recipe. In the past, our favourite Caesar dressings have called for a dash or two of Worcestershire. I must say we didn’t miss it at all in this instance. We thought this salad was sensational. Though the dressing is indeed garlicky, it is also quite balance and the garlic doesn’t slap you in the face like it does in some Caesars. I really enjoyed the author’s head note about all the factors that go into determining the taste experience you have w this salad. We all know fresh is best but I loved the way she described how each individual element influences the experience. So often I’m tempted to prep my ingredients in advance but after reading this I squeezed the lemon juice as I prepared the dressing and I tasted after each addition of my cheese. Love, love, loved this salad and the toasty-tender croutons. This recipe is indeed a keeper! Photos here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/355988#7860307

    • BlytheSpirit on October 17, 2014

      I omitted the eggs - but found this delicious nonetheless. The proportion of oil and vinegar was perfect for me. A great recipe, and a definite repeat. To me, this recipe exemplifies the attention to detail that makes so many Zuni recipes 'keepers'.

    • jodies on December 16, 2015

      Prepared exactly as written and found it to be perfect.

    • westminstr on January 19, 2016

      Great salad. Half recipe was plenty for us. I reduced the garlic a bit and added extra anchovies per my family's preference. Remember to dry the lettuce completely so as not to water down the dressing. Next time I might try without egg per the comment below.

    • clcorbi on February 13, 2017

      Made for our early Valentine's Day dinner--absolutely delicious. We emulsified it in a blender which worked perfectly. I didn't follow Roger's crouton instructions--instead, we simply brushed a piece of sourdough with olive oil, toasted it until crisp, rubbed it with garlic, and then broke it into pieces. Easy and it did the trick. I also mixed the remainder of the grated parmesan directly into the finished dressing. This recipe is a keeper for sure.

  • Stracciatelle in broth with sorrel

    • sfcarole on February 04, 2013

      Easy and delicious comfort-food soup. You can sub parmesan for the grated pecorino, and spinach for the sorrel. If you had some mini-meatballs in the freezer you could add those for a heartier soup that might appeal to kids.

  • Onion soup with tomato and a poached egg

    • wester on May 14, 2012

      A good, tasty, robust soup, but not as brilliant as I had hoped. Still, it is nice to find an onion soup without cheese.

  • Boiled kale

    • Zosia on February 15, 2014

      Much tastier than it sounds. I served it with farrotto (p199) and a few shavings of Parmesan for a delicious vegetarian main. It probably would have been richer tasting if I had used all of the olive oil but could only bring myself to use 2 tbsp - still very good.

    • Rutabaga on February 07, 2017

      I didn't find this dish to be anything special, although to be fair my kale had been waiting all week to be used and was getting quite limp. It's certainly not bad, especially drizzled with good olive oil and a sprinkled with smoked Maldon salt and Parmesan. We just ate it on its own, but I can see that it would be good on toast. And although he initially protested, my five-year-old did end up eating five very large bites without complaint.

  • Boiled kale on toast

    • Emily Hope on December 14, 2011

      This is such a simple idea but it is very satisfying, and is dinner-worthy if you put a poached egg on top along with the cheese. Tasty, healthy, and inexpensive. Last time around we had this with mashed roasted sweet potatoes with some feta on top, for a little color. For an online version of the recipe: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2008/10/pleasantly-sogged.html

    • BlytheSpirit on October 19, 2013

      Loved this recipe! More than the sum of its parts. Important to use good quality bread and not skip the step of rubbing it with raw garlic while still hot. This recipe is a keeper.

  • Boiled kale with eggs, fried or poached

    • sturlington on June 05, 2013

      I don't usually like greens cooked this way. This did go well with a fried egg as the yolk mixed with the liquid from the greens. I'm not sure I would make it again, though.

  • Boiled kale farinata

    • PinchOfSalt on June 16, 2013

      It's amazing how something that is so simple and not at all fussy to prepare can be so good. Perfect comfort food for a cool evening. Vegan, though a meat-eater would never notice that.

    • PinchOfSalt on June 20, 2014

      see this link for the recipe online http://books.google.com/books?id=x_zYAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA163&lpg=PA163&dq=zuni+cafe+kale+farinata+recipe&source=bl&ots=AmKYhWWpre&sig=SEXk6iEyyZ1mIPjymLY4qPMBA3Y&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NcGkU_vMI8egqAaN94KYDg&ved=0CCUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=zuni%20cafe%20kale%20farinata%20recipe&f=false

  • Asparagus and rice soup with pancetta and black pepper

    • Bloominanglophile on October 09, 2014

      I made this soup back in May, but am rating it now! This is a simple soup, but a little tricky on the execution. I followed the instructions, and used plain long-grain white rice instead of Carnaroli or Arborio. Therein lies the trick--using a rice that is less likely to overcook and splay on the ends (like mine did). Next time I make this (it IS a nice soup, afterall), and if I use long-grain white rice again, I would add it AFTER the chicken stock and water come to a simmer. I also thought this soup might taste nice made with brown rice--worth a try! Do be generous with the black pepper.

    • pistachiopeas on April 11, 2017

      Simple and very satisfying soup.

  • Lentil-sweet red pepper soup with cumin and black pepper

    • Laura on July 06, 2010

      Pg. 167. First recipe I've ever made from this book and it was not impressive. Would not make again. I don't know if this made any difference, but I did double the recipe and I used half French lentils and half brown lentils. Unfortunately, I have a lot of it leftover.

  • Corn-shrimp bisque

    • FredHassan on September 12, 2010

      Flavor was good, but didn't have time to strain it twice. Maybe I'll try again when I have several hours to work on it.

  • Fried eggs in bread crumbs

    • wester on December 15, 2010

      This was quite good, crunchy and flavorful. It reminded me of good bacon and eggs, but of course it's vegetarian. I used Panko crumbs, no herbs. My eggs were sunny side up. My husband and children did not like the balsamic vinegar on it, but I did. I will make this again.

    • TrishaCP on April 03, 2016

      The crispy breadcrumbs and the acid hit from the vinegar (I used red wine) are really wonderful.

    • alex9179 on May 26, 2016

      Addictive. I will tear up some homemade sandwich bread and it toasts up well.

  • Brouillade aux orties

    • wester on August 08, 2013

      Simple, vegetarian, cheap, and tasty. Just not as brilliant as some other recipes from this book.

  • Citrus risotto

    • wester on December 18, 2010

      I noticed this recipe and I was intrigued by it. And I happened to have all ingredients on hand (except the mascarpone, which I replaced with whipping cream). It was good, with a clear but not overwhelming citrus flavor. It looks pretty too, with those flecks of pink grapefruit. The preparation technique was easy with the lime but trickier with the (thicker-skinned) grapefruit. Still, the preparation of the whole thing was not difficult. You do need to stay around while it cooks, though. I served this with a lamb stir-fry but I am sure it would be really excellent with white fish and/or the suggested shrimp.

  • Farrotto with dried porcini

    • Zosia on February 15, 2014

      Great texture and flavour - I particularly liked the sage - and a nice alternative to risotto that doesn't require as much babysitting while cooking and seems to be a little more forgiving if it has to be held before serving. I made it with vegetable stock to serve with the boiled kale (p 162) as a vegetarian main.

    • westminstr on January 20, 2016

      I made as directed. It came together easily after work and was much easier than risotto. I liked the technique of just adding the crumbled porcini with the rice, eliminating the soaking and straining step. This allowed a small amount of dried porcini to permeate the entire dish. I really enjoyed this but it was not popular with the kiddos, alas. If I make it again as a main course I might experiment with adding a bit of pancetta.

    • twoyolks on January 27, 2016

      While the flavor was pretty good, it felt like it was missing butter or cheese to help enrich the dish.

  • Pasta with corn, pancetta, butter and sage

    • vwchang on July 04, 2011

      Delicious but very rich. Next time try cutting butter with some chicken stock and/or wine.

  • Pasta with spicy broccoli and cauliflower

    • wester on September 01, 2010

      This does not have the surprise value anymore that it must have had when this book first came out, but it is still a very good dish with bold flavors. Not too complicated to make. The main difficulty is not burning the vegetables while not being afraid to let them caramelize nicely. The slicing technique given is nice as well.

    • Zosia on May 13, 2014

      Very flavourful and quite easy to make. I used only broccoli, omitted the anchovies (to keep it vegetarian), and reduced the oil to 1/4 cup, adding a little pasta cooking water at the end. This will definitely be repeated.

    • fprincess on May 15, 2014

      This recipe was not completely successful for me but could work with a few tweaks. I liked the technique where the vegetables are sliced thin and browned to create flavor, with the other elements added towards the end so they maintain a sharper flavor. Regarding the overall taste, I felt that the fennel seeds were a distraction and I would skip them. The end result was a little oily, even though I had reduced the amount of olive oil that the recipe called for. Review & photo here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/36348-zuni-cafe-cookbook-by-judy-rogers/?p=1968722

  • Pasta alla carbonara

    • wester on January 21, 2011

      The ricotta in the sauce was brilliant, it made a smooth creamy sauce, but not as heavy as it would have been with cream. The amount of salt in the pasta was much smaller than I usually use, but it worked out fine. However, I was not very happy with the addition of peas. They were not bad, they just didn't add much, so I thought they just distracted from the brilliance of the rest of the sauce. In short, I will make this again, but without the peas.

  • Pasta with preserved tuna and pine nuts

    • TrishaCP on July 10, 2016

      I made the canned tuna version on a night when I needed dinner to be pantry ingredients. It was good, but I think the optional preserved lemon, which I didn't use, is really needed for the extra brininess and saltiness it brings. I could have also used more fennel. I used two tins of Ortiz tuna, and next time I would just use the oil the fish is preserved in rather than adding any to the dish.

    • clcorbi on February 11, 2017

      I made a half-recipe of this to feed two people, and used 1 can of tuna. I've been intrigued by this recipe for a while and, since I am always looking for ways to use my homemade preserved lemons, I knew I had to try it. I'm SO glad I did, because this recipe is so quick and delicious! The whole thing came together, start to finish, in less than a half-hour. The longest step is infusing the oil for 15 minutes, but you can prep the rest of the ingredients during that time. I wouldn't skimp on this step because the resulting oil was so flavorful. The only change I made was to use a bit less preserved lemon than called for, but the flavor still came through really nicely so I think this was the right call. I also added a bit of salt to the tuna mixture, which brightened it up nicely. Although not called for in the recipe, we did grate a bit of parmesan over our bowls, which was a nice touch. I will definitely make this again as an easy, pantry-focused weeknight dinner.

  • Martha's spätzle

    • Breadcrumbs on January 11, 2016

      p. 220 - I love spätzle and was keen to try this version. I prepared the recipe exactly as written however if I were to make these again I might add a little water as the batter was fairly thick and as a result, I ended up with spätzle that were more ball-shaped than elongated though no less delicious. This is the first spätzle recipe I’ve seen that calls for cake flour and I was interested to see whether that had any impact on the final product. I’m not sure if this may have contributed to the density of the batter but after a little Googling I did find a Bavarian knöpfle spätzle that was exactly the same shape as mine. I learned that knöpfle means knob. I browned my finished spätzle in a dry non-stick pan before serving alongside the beef short ribs from this book. Photo here: http://www.chowhound.com/post/january-2007-2009-2016-cotm-zuni-cafe-cookbook-eggs-starchy-355989?commentId=9791705

  • Chard and onion panade with Fontina

    • Barb_N on December 16, 2015

      I have made this a few times. Last night I used vegetarian stock, and rainbow chard, including the stems. This added a lovely hue to the onions when I sauteed the stems with them. Qintessential comfort food and infinitely adaptable. Lighter than bread pudding.

  • Buttermilk mashed potatoes

    • wester on December 10, 2010

      A really good mashed potato recipe. Buttery, light, tangy. I melted the butter in the same pan I used for heating the milk. As the amounts are small, that doesn't take much time, and I think dirtying three pans for mashed potatoes alone is a bit much.

    • DKennedy on October 31, 2012

      My go-to recipe

    • twoyolks on November 17, 2015

      The mashed potatoes have a good balance between tanginess and richness. I used the microwave to heat the cream and melt the butter which worked well.

    • clcorbi on January 30, 2017

      Absolutely delicious. I can't comment on the step-by-step process too much as my boyfriend made these, but wow, were they tasty.

  • Rosemary-roasted potatoes

    • wester on December 12, 2010

      It's great to see that something as basic as potatoes baked with rosemary can still be improved with a few small changes. This produced lovely baked potatoes with a crunchy-crumbly crust and a nice rosemary aroma. The oven time given was much too short. I increased it by about 10 minutes, next time I might double it.

    • clcorbi on February 24, 2017

      Agree with wester's comment that the oven time was too short; we had to increase it by 15ish minutes. These potatoes are very good, I would even increase the rosemary next time.

  • Roasted fingerling potatoes

    • twoyolks on September 23, 2014

      The potatoes didn't cook through even after cooking them for twice as long as the recipe specified.

  • Hashed sweet potatoes

    • twoyolks on December 30, 2012

      As written, I couldn't get the instructions to work. The sweet potatoes fell apart as I tried to turn them. I also had to turn them multiple times to get them cooked all the way through. Because of all the sugar in the sweet potatoes, they started to burn instead of turning brown. They weren't terrible but they weren't great.

  • Chard with lemon oil

    • okcook on June 16, 2011

      This is fantastic with fresh from the garden chard.

  • Braised peas with onions, sage and pancetta

    • wester on December 17, 2010

      Good winter fare. Sweet, starchy and rich. The children (4 years old) loved it too. I made it with frozen peas and diced bacon. I think my sprig of sage was too small - next time I'll use a bigger one. I served it with Buttermilk mashed potatoes from the same cookbook, which was good. I'm sure they would be great with pasta as well - the cookbook itself suggests gnocchi, which sounds great.

  • Sugar snap boats

    • britt on September 23, 2010

      I made this with tarragon instead of basil. It tasted like spring - fresh and green and sweet. Delicious.

    • smccandless on August 06, 2016

      Go-to for abundance of garden snap peas. Good variation: make with tarragon or mint instead of basil.

  • Braised fennel

    • Frogcake on March 04, 2017

      Never in my dreams did I imagine fennel braised in vermouth could be so delicious! Second time I made this I also braised some cauliflower in the vermouth, which was also pretty good. Will be making this again as it's also so simple. I served this with lamb chops and buttered orzo.

  • Baked artichokes with onions, lemons, black olives and mint

    • oaklandskillet on April 23, 2015

      page 256-257 I can't believe how well this recipe turned out! The hint of mint was delightful. I used Meyer lemon and I think it would have been nice to use just a little more lemon, maybe 3/4 of a lemon. I will make this again.

  • Roasted applesauce and savory apple charlotte

    • Melanie on June 14, 2015

      Made the applesauce. This applesauce is great! Incredibly simple but delicious served as a compote with breakfast, made two weeks in a row. The second time I made this I cooked it for longer at lower temperature and the apples were more caramelised.

    • Bloominanglophile on February 08, 2016

      My husband raved over this applesauce, which I served as a side with the Zuni Roasted Chicken with Bread Salad. A great way to use up any ageing apples you may have--the cider vinegar really makes it taste more "appley". I might blitz it next time, as my sauce was really chunky (maybe a bit too dehydrated). Still fabulous, though!

    • alex9179 on May 26, 2016

      The addition of apple cider vinegar is imperative for heightening the apple flavor. I sprinkle a bit, stir, and taste until it sings. Wonderful over vanilla ice cream or with yogurt.

  • Fagioli all'uccelletto

    • westminstr on April 07, 2015

      I had previously cooked white beans in the freezer and defrosted them for this recipe. I subbed tomato sauce for the tomatoes and omitted the optional prosciutto and mushrooms. This recipe was easy and very flavorful, herbal, savory and delicious. Would definitely make again.

  • Lentils braised in red wine

    • adrienneyoung on November 09, 2014

      Modest, but a nice base for something else: salmon, maybe? A sticky, garlicky, excellent sausage?

  • Zucchini pickles

    • bernalgirl on July 17, 2012

      Easy and delicious, these pickles are addictive served with a burger, as they are at Zuni, or on a cheese plate. An easy, rewarding pickle.

  • Red onion pickles

    • mirage on July 18, 2014


    • MmeFleiss on February 04, 2015

      A lot of work, but one of my favorite things to put on top of a burger.

    • alex9179 on May 26, 2016

      Time consuming but easy. They are a staple in our fridge and fantastic chopped in green, tuna, and chicken salads.

  • Carol's pickled onions

    • alex9179 on May 26, 2016

      Both pickled onions are fridge staples. I love these on boiled egg halves with salt, pepper, and a smear of mayo. Also excellent on hot dogs - per my kids.

  • Rich balsamic mayonnaise

    • alex9179 on May 26, 2016

      Delicious for dipping any roasted potatoes.

  • Aïoli

    • wester on December 12, 2010

      The kind of recipe that's simple not because it started simple, but because everything superfluous has been weeded out. Just egg yolk, garlic, salt and oil. I found it a bit sharp, but I think I should have added a bit more oil. I did find it difficult to pound the garlic finely enough in the mortar, next time I will chop it finer before starting to pound. I did like the extra bit of advice on what to do when you've added too much oil, even though I did not need it this time. It's always good to know that kind of thing.

  • Sea bass with leeks, potatoes and thyme

    • Cheri on March 13, 2011

      Excellent. Substituted halibut. Comfort Food

  • Zuni roast chicken with bread salad

    • wester on September 03, 2010

      I have only made the bread salad so far. Two reasons are given for making chicken and salad together. But you can still make this without the chicken. One, you need to put the bread in a hot oven for a few minutes and it's good to use the coolingoff heat for that. Two, you are supposed to put a bit of the pan juices of the chicken in the salad, which I'm sure is even more delicious than this already was. This recipe is a bit elaborate, but it did have everyone asking for more. It's not difficult though, she really takes you by the hand, she tells you when to taste, and what to pay attention to. Do read the recipe carefully before you start. I didn't and I thought I was close to finishing off the salad when I still had to cook the scallions and put the bread in the oven. I will also try this with flatleaf parsley instead of greens. There definitely is some room for experiment in that department. This is a wellbalanced recipe though and I wouldn't want to change too much.

    • moreace01 on October 14, 2010

      This is my all-time favorite roast chicken recipe. As pp said, this recipe is elaborate (and wordy!) so be sure to thoroughly read through (maybe a few times) before starting so you aren't off-guard. The bread salad is also oustanding.

    • avallance on December 08, 2011

      As below, my favourite roast chicken recipe. The recipe is elaborate but onece you've been through it once, you won't need the recipe again. I've not made the bread salad...

    • L.Nightshade on January 18, 2012

      This was a wonderful meal! The chicken was flavorful, the meat juicy and the skin crispy. The bread salad was a perfect accompaniment. In retrospect, it was a little too time-consuming for a workday dinner, but it will definitely be repeated on a weekend.

    • Jeulz on January 21, 2012

      Absolutely THE BOMB! Find the skinniest, organic chicken and high quality artisan bread. Start prepping 1 or 2 days prior to cooking. Easy, yet a bit time consuming. So worth it! I would not hesitate to serve this to any of my guests. Ranks up there as one of the most scrumptious of meals I've ever had the pleasure of eating.

    • kjwright on April 25, 2012

      One of my favorite meals. The chicken is great, with juicy, flavorful meat and crispy skin. The bread salad is indeed great on its own, though it is over-the-top with the chicken drippings added. Plan this one ahead of time, and it is easy to do when it comes time to cook.

    • Kringler on October 14, 2013

      Wonderful at the Zuni Cafe and wonderful to make at home. A classic.

    • BlytheSpirit on October 14, 2013

      My third time making this recipe. This time I was able to get a three-pound chicken from the butcher. This is by far the best roast chicken I have ever made. I roasted it in my 10 inch cast iron skillet and poured out the fat midway thru roasting to prevent smoke (as suggested by others in the chowhound COTM thread). This is the only roast chicken recipe for me!

    • Zosia on December 17, 2013

      Excellent! Requires a little more time and attention than other roast chicken recipes but worth the effort. I used a cast iron skillet.

    • BlytheSpirit on June 25, 2014

      Just thought I would mention (since this roast chicken makes a regular appearance on my table) that it does not seem essential to me to salt the bird a day ahead. I have made this many times on the spur of the moment and it is still a fabulous way to roast chicken.

    • Barb_N on August 21, 2014

      As the saying goes, this recipe 'changed my life' or at least how I roast chicken. Who ever thought drying out the skin was a good thing? IT IS! It renders the fat and makes for crispy skin. I make the bread salad- subbing grape tomatoes for currants in the spring/summer. The salting is essential but it does not need to take 48 hours. I agree that you should use an organic chicken but don't like the skinny, bony-a** ones from the grocery. A nice plump bird is my favorite.

    • Bloominanglophile on October 09, 2014

      Yes--ANOTHER review for Zuni Roast Chicken with Bread Salad!!! I admit, I'm usually "late to the table" (pun intended) when it comes to trying out popular recipes or purchasing cookbooks. So glad I finally tried this--has to be the best roast chicken I have made to date. I made the bread salad 2 nights in a row, as my daughter and I devoured it each night. It could have served three. If I was making this for more people than that, I would increase the salad ingredients proportionally. A note about the bread--I made this with a Tuscan loaf, which I later remembered is not made with salt. Hence, I had to keep fiddling with the seasoning. Next time I would pick a loaf that is made with salt. My chicken was a 4 lbs, but cooked in the time recommended in the recipe.

    • adelina on January 08, 2017

      After spending a fortune on this dish at their cafe, I now realize how much time is allotted to make this. Very yum. Will be doubling the salad dressing next time.

    • clcorbi on February 24, 2017

      We only made the chicken and it was delicious! I was only able to salt it for one day, and since it was a 3.5lb chicken, I imagine it would have been greatly improved after 2-3 days. Now that I know how quick this is to roast, I will salt it for the full amount of time next time and cook it on a weeknight. Our chicken also stuck to the skillet slightly when flipped, so I think I needed to heat the skillet a bit more aggressively.

  • Roast chicken salad with peppers, pine nuts, olives and bitter greens

    • kjwright on April 25, 2012

      Nice entree salad and a great use of leftover Zuni roast chicken - if you manage to have any leftover Zuni roast chicken! I used mustard greens - not a shy salad. Nice combination of ingredients and a lovely dressing. Recommended.

    • TrishaCP on November 29, 2015

      This is a really nice and satisfying supper salad- hits all of the flavor notes on your palate. I only used arugula since I didn't have dandelion greens, but I bet it is even better with them.

  • Chicken bouillabaisse

    • Mary.Fred on December 05, 2010

      Bump up saffron and thyme. Add crushed fennel and really toast the bread

    • kjwright on April 25, 2012

      Awesome dish, especially when herbs/spices are really fresh. The entree is a little tricky to eat when chicken remains on the bone, though the fork/knife work is worth the effort, esp. when served with crostini + aioli. Any leftovers keep well and are respectable in their own right.

    • Zosia on February 11, 2014

      Fantastic recipe that uses simple ingredients and techniques to produce a dish with fabulous flavour. Excellent served with simple garlic toast.

  • Chicken braised with figs, honey and vinegar

    • vickster on September 17, 2012

      An abundance of figs from my tree led me to hunt for different recipes to make use of them. This is simple and delicious. The figs lend a great taste, but it definitely could be made without them - or something else could be substituted.

    • L.Nightshade on January 24, 2016

      Page 350. Like Goblin on COTM, I used the black mission figs, the only kind in the store. Instead of using legs, Mr N cut up a whole chicken. The breast pieces went into the oven about 20 minutes after the dark pieces. I'm a white-meat girl, so we often adjust recipes for that preference. Our guests ate the dark meat pieces, and Mr NS ended up with a breast, not his preferred piece, but he loved it! We're very impressed with this method of cooking chicken, where the pieces aren't completely submerged in the braising liquid, so the meat is tender and juicy, and the skin is crisp and golden. We plan use this technique again with different ingredients and seasonings. http://www.chowhound.com/post/january-2007-2009-2016-cotm-zuni-cafe-cookbook-seafood-355991?commentId=9798880

  • Roasted or grilled quail and marinated grilled quail

    • twoyolks on May 16, 2016

      Nice, simple grilled quail.

  • Quail and sausage braised with grapes

    • Breadcrumbs on February 27, 2011

      pgs 361-3 . Despite looking like a complicated dish in the book’s photo, this dish is surprising simple to pull-together and, very tasty indeed. This is the first time I’ve braised with fresh grapes and I’m looking forward to using this technique again as, in my view, the grapes were really the star of the show. My small, sweet-tart Argentinean red grapes were perfect w the quail and sausage making for a truly memorable dish. My only complaint was minor, regarding aesthetics; the red grapes just don’t have enough pigment to stain the quails in that beautiful mahogany color you see in the book’s photo. A fragrant, succulent, saucy dish with tons of flavor thanks in part to the juices rendered by the sausages. The grapes were just scrumptious with the quail and the sausage. This may not have been pretty but what it lacked in beauty, it more than made up for in taste. We’d definitely make this again.

  • Roasted squab

    • bching on March 15, 2015

      Simple and delicious. Be sure to season the squab in advance, 12-24 hours ahead. Rodgers calls for salt alone; I added a bit of ground juniper. Likewise, in addition to the "squab tea" she calls for to deglaze the pan, I sprinkled in a bit of raspberry vinegar.

  • Short ribs braised in Chimay ale

    • TrishaCP on May 01, 2014

      These were amazing- I think I prefer them to the Sunday Suppers at Lucques version which until now had been my standard. I didn't have the flanken cut shortribs available, so used what I had but cooked much longer (about 3 hours). The onions stayed intact with that cooking time and really were just perfect.

    • Breadcrumbs on January 11, 2016

      p. 383 - I’m not a big beef-eater but when I do partake, short-ribs would be my cut of choice. I find them to be unfailingly tender, rich and flavourful and I’m pleased (but not at all surprised) to report, Ms Rodgers’ version were no exception. This recipe provides an incredibly tasty dish with very little effort. I used a local mellow porter beer in my dish and I also used the large short ribs vs the thinner cut slabs which is what JR uses based on the photo in the book and her head note. I thought the technique of smearing the cooked ribs with Dijon and broiling them was interesting and though I can’t say my Dijon ever did really brown as Ms Rodgers suggests it would, we did enjoy the flavour it imparted. Despite simmering my broth for approx. 30 mins, I never did achieve the syrupy texture Ms Rogers describes, nonetheless the broth was rich and flavourful. Photo here: http://www.chowhound.com/post/january-2007-2009-2016-cotm-zuni-cafe-cookbook-beef-lamb-355992?commentId=9791712

  • Pot-au-feu

    • Zosia on March 01, 2016

      This was hearty and flavourful, and I loved the technique of blanching the meat to reduce skimming time. Serving it with a vinaigrette seemed unusual to me but it cut the richness effectively and lifted all of the flavours. The best part of the dish was the fantastic broth it produced. Much as I enjoyed this, I prefer methods of cooking this cut of meat (pre-roasting etc) that help to render out some of the fat.

  • Leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic

    • westminstr on March 17, 2015

      I made this with a small leg of lamb so followed the instructions for spring lamb, but I did salt the lamb a day ahead since I think what I had was a piece of larger leg. The cooking instructions were pretty easy to follow, though I cooked the lamb a tad too long, but that was not the fault of the recipe but rather that I did not adjust properly for the smaller size. The garlic on the inside of the lamb didn't soften completely and I think I would have liked more of the rosemary/garlic flavor on the outside instead of just on the inside of the lamb.

  • House cured pork chop

    • TrishaCP on May 22, 2014

      Nice brine and cooking technique. Since the aromatics are all optional, I only went with the bay, but my chops didn't actually pick up any flavor, so I would omit next time.

  • House cured pork tenderloins

    • Zosia on August 16, 2014

      Probably the best tenderloins I've ever made - juicy and very flavourful - but I did find them to be just a little too sweet. I used the optional aromatics.

  • Mock porchetta

    • mirage on January 16, 2010

      Did the pork but not the veggies. Pork was very good.

    • kjwright on June 17, 2012

      Delicious result. the pork was fantastic. Nice crispy crust on the roast. The roasted veg were very good, having bathed in the pork juices while in the oven. Leftovers didn't last long at our house, either!

    • westminstr on December 28, 2012

      This was great even though I salted stuffed and rubbed on the same day. Used a larger roast (3.5 pounds) and pulled from oven around 160 after roasting over 3 hours. See head notes for instructions re larger roasts or use a smaller one next time.

  • Oranges with rosemary honey

    • Zosia on December 17, 2013

      Lovely and refreshing dessert...the perfect ending to a rich (or any) meal.

  • Shortcake with summer fruit

    • Rutabaga on August 29, 2016

      I wasn't sure if this recipe could really improve upon my usual shortcake, but it did! The wine soaked fruit is delicious, although I had to keep it away from my five-year-old. The shortcakes were very crumbly and almost fell apart when I transferred them to the baking sheet, but the finished texture was amazing - tender, with a slightly sandy crumb and a creamy sweetness. This is one to come back to.

  • Peach crostata

    • Breadcrumbs on September 11, 2011

      Peach Crostata – p. 498 Okay, full disclosure here . . . I cheated just a bit by using a high quality store-bought puff pastry so prep for this dish was minimized to peeling & slicing some peaches then tossing them in a bit of sugar (brown in my case), a pinch of salt and my own addition, a sprinkle of cinnamon. Fruit was then heaped onto pastry, folded over crostata style then popped into the oven until browned. FYI, Zuni suggests 40 – 45 mins at 425 degrees. My pastry package suggested a temp of 375. I went with the latter and the dish was ready after 40 mins. Sweet, juicy summertime perfection on a plate. Dare I admit we topped w a dollop of freshly whipped (and low cal because it was unsweetened!! LOL) whipped cream. Yum, do give this a try! photos in CH COTM

  • Chocolate pots of crème

    • jodies on October 19, 2011

      This does not contain unsweetened chocolate. It's BITTERSWEET chocolate. It is, however, DELICIOUS.

  • Toasted almond panna cotta with saba

    • amoule on February 09, 2014

      This was outstanding. I have to admit, though, that I didn't get a lot of flavor from steeping the almonds in the milk/cream mixture. I cheated and added 1/4 teaspoon of natural almond extract. Maybe I didn't chop the almonds finely enough; I will try chopping them in the food processor next time. It would have been great by itself; the saba makes it spectacular.

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Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Madeleine's omelette with mustard croûtons and Beaufort cheese

    • Lottie and Doof

      I don’t have the patience or skill for an omelette, but I thought this could also work as a scramble... The resulting dish was pretty delicious.

      Full review
  • Zucchini pickles

    • Lisa Is Cooking

      The flavor of the pickles was just where I’d hoped it would be. The reduced amount of sugar provided some balance, but the tartness was evident.

      Full review
    • Wednesday Chef

      As the days passed, the pickles developed more flavor. I liked them best right away, crunchy and barely sweet, the fresh brine making me break out in a gentle sweat.

      Full review
    • Lottie and Doof

      ...these are seriously good looking pickles. The combination of mustard powder and turmeric gives them a beautiful chartreuse color. And believe it or not, I like the way they taste.

      Full review
  • Roasted applesauce and savory apple charlotte

    • Food52

      No cinnamon, no cloves - this sauce is straight up apple, mainlined to your belly...she keeps it smart and simple, balancing the apples only as needed with small amounts of salt, sugar, cider vinegar.

      Full review
  • Pasta with spicy broccoli and cauliflower

    • Cupcake Muffin

      Although it contains various ingredients that are semi-questionable to picky eaters - broccoli, anchovies, and olives - everyone really enjoyed it. I like how all the veggies get caramelized...

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 0393020436
  • ISBN 13 9780393020434
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Jun 17 2002
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 552
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher WW Norton & Co
  • Imprint WW Norton & Co

Publishers Text

For twenty-four years, in an odd and intimate warren of rooms, San Franciscans of every variety have come to the Zuni Cafe with high expectations and have rarely left disappointed. Here, chef and owner Judy Rodgers provides recipes for Zuni's most well-known dishes, ranging from the Zuni Roast Chicken to the Espresso Granita.

But Zuni's appeal goes beyond recipes. Harold McGee concludes, What makes The Zuni Cafe Cookbook a real treasure is the voice of Zuni's Judy Rodgers, whose book repeatedly sheds a fresh and revealing light on ingredients and dishes, and even on the nature of cooking itself. Deborah Madison (Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone ) says the introduction alone should be required reading for every person who might cook something someday.

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