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

Search this book for Recipes »
    • Categories: Stocks
    • Ingredients: whole chicken; carrots; celery; yellow onions
    • Categories: Stocks
    • Ingredients: pork shoulder; pig feet; chicken stock; celery; yellow onions; bay leaves
    • Categories: Stocks
    • Ingredients: beef shanks; chicken stock; carrots; celery; yellow onions; bay leaves
    • Categories: Stocks
    • Ingredients: lamb bones; chicken stock; celery; lamb; carrots; yellow onions; lamb scraps
    • Categories: Stocks
    • Ingredients: chicken wings; chicken stock; carrots; yellow onions; bay leaves
    • Categories: Stocks
    • Ingredients: dry white wine; carrots; celery; chicken stock; fish bones and trimmings
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters
    • Ingredients: fresh anchovies; rock salt; Parmesan cheese; celery; Niçoise olives
    • Categories: Sauces for fish; French; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: Champagne vinegar; shallots; dry white sparkling wine
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: melons; anise seeds; sambuca; prosciutto
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: prosciutto; rustic white bread; oranges; hazelnuts; mint; black mission figs; olive oil
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: sage; chestnuts; prosciutto; olive oil
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: smoked prosciutto; fennel; Zante grapes; Champagne vinegar; dry white wine; allspice berries; bay leaves
    • Categories: Chutneys, pickles & relishes; Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: walnuts; celery; grappa; salami; dried white figs; Idiazábal cheese
    • Categories: Salads; Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: parsley; Champagne vinegar; coppa (cured); mixed peppers; black olives; yellow-fleshed potatoes
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: coriander seeds; bay leaves; celery root; coppa (cured); olives
    • Categories: Dressings & marinades; Salads; Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: Champagne vinegar; coriander seeds; bresaola; butter lettuce
    • Categories: Salads; Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: fromage blanc; bresaola; salad greens; lemon oil
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Italian; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: portabello mushrooms; olive oil; mint; lemons; buttermilk; heavy cream
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese; white asparagus; porcini mushrooms; hazelnuts; white truffle oil
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Appetizers / starters; French; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: pistachio nuts; oranges; asparagus; grappa
    • Accompaniments: Rabbit mixed grill
    • Categories: Grills & BBQ; Appetizers / starters; Italian
    • Ingredients: eggplants; bottarga; cracker bread
    • Categories: Appetizers / starters; Italian; Vegan; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: tomato paste; Champagne vinegar; celery; artichokes; green olives; capers; mint; yellow onions
    • Accompaniments: Pasta with preserved tuna and pine nuts

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.

  • KevinSeattle on June 06, 2021

    If I were running a cooking school, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook would be required reading, if not the main text. There’s something to learn on every page.

  • 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

  • Sea bass with leeks, potatoes, and thyme

    • Cheri on March 13, 2011

      Excellent. Substituted halibut. Comfort Food

    • TrishaCP on January 14, 2018

      This was incredibly delicious. Simple ingredients just cooked very well. Like Cheri says, absolute comfort food.

    • twoyolks on February 24, 2021

      The potatoes and sauce were great. I found the fish just okay but I was using a thinner piece than called for so it probably overcooked some.

    • Pizzacat13 on September 30, 2021

      Given how simple and sparse the ingredient list is, it's unbelievably delicious! The quality of the fish matters. I used euro sea bass fillets (Branzino) which were kind of skinny, so I pan fried the fish separately and added to top the finished dish. Amazing. I can see this being just as good with Halibut or Chilean Sea Bass. This will go into the rotation.

    • Kduncan on June 05, 2022

      This was good for not too much effort.

  • Farrotto with dried porcini

    • 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.

    • wester on December 11, 2018

      I made this with spelt instead of farro, which definitely needed shorter cooking time and less stock. I used dried shiitake and a porcini stock cube. Husband thought it was OK, the children prefer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls speltotto with kale. Not enough enthousiasm for a repeat.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Rutabaga on January 05, 2018

      The dish had a wonderful earthy, rich flavor. Just a small amount of dried porcini really does permeate the farro. I used homemade turkey stock, which also enriched what is at heart a very simple side dish, and substituted thyme for sage. But my faro took far longer than half an hour to cook. It bubbled for close to 70 minutes on the stove, and was still quite chewy (pleasantly so, in my opinion). I used Bluebird Grains whole grain faro, which I think takes much longer to cook than the pearled and semi-pearled varieties. It isn't very clear that there would be such a difference when Rodgers talks about what type of faro to buy in the recipe introduction, but perhaps that's because this kind wasn't easy to come by when the book was written. As westminster noted, this dish seems to appeal more to adults than kids.

    • meginyeg on August 23, 2021

      We loved this. Super savory and flavorsome. I will definitely make it again.

  • Zuni Caesar salad

    • 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.

    • 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:

    • jodies on December 16, 2015

      Prepared exactly as written and found it to be perfect.

    • 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.

    • 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'.

    • Bloominanglophile on May 30, 2022

      This is a very nice salad--unfortunately (and embarrassingly), I'm not wild about Caesar salads.

    • 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.

    • anya_sf on June 02, 2019

      This is the best Caesar salad recipe I've ever tried. I often do reduce the garlic, but never skip the egg.

  • 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.

  • 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mock porchetta

    • 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.

    • 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!

    • chefmichael on February 24, 2021

      Really enjoyed making and eating this. If you are using an internal temperature probe to cook to 185 degrees as Judy suggests do be careful. You will have very different readings depending on where the probe ends up inside relative to the cuts you made prior to stuffing and such. In my case I ended up slightly drying out some parts of the roast due to fiddling with the probe position at the end and not realizing that most of it was ready to pull out of the oven.

  • 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

    • SheilaS on September 25, 2021

      Made this using the "rough puff" pastry from the book. Since Judy recommends eating it within 45 minutes at the most, I made a half recipe. It was delicious and there was no problem meeting the timeline. I did feel like I was flipping pages a lot as some of the instructions for both the pastry and the crostata were in previous recipes but they're all there and taking the time to read through them all was worthwhile.

  • Short ribs braised in Chimay ale

    • 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:

    • 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.

    • meginyeg on December 17, 2023

      This was good but not my favourite braised short ribs recipe. The mustard was nice.

  • 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.

    • TrishaCP on September 29, 2018

      We made this with chicken thighs and sausage- it was still good but maybe not as great as with the quail. We had seeded black grapes, and de-seeding them was the most time-consuming step for us (when skipping the quail).

  • 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:

    • sfcarole on December 10, 2018

      For the first time I made spaetzle easily! I love this recipe (it does call for 5 tbs. of water, all of which I used). My eggs were room temp so that may have helped keep the batter looser. I used a spaetzle maker my husband bought at Sur La Table after a funny but exasperating episode with a colander. Half the batter went into the little basket that sits atop the spaetzle maker and I slid it back and forth slowly until the batter was all gone. Grill gloves helped ignore the steam coming off the pot. Then I let the spaetzle cook another minute as recommended. I scooped them up with a wide skimmer with holes, while holding a towel underneath the skimmer a few seconds, then put them on an oiled sheet pan. A bit later I sautéed them in oil and butter before adding another sauce we had prepared. I thought it was interesting that Rodgers doesn't add salt to the batter, but like pasta, only to the water. Some people add nutmeg, but that wasn't going to work with my sauce so I omitted it.

  • 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!

    • TrishaCP on June 02, 2018

      A truly delicious salad. I agree with stockholm28 that the best part is the cheese, mint, and oil with the fava beans- and I would be tempted to do just that part of the salad next time.

    • stockholm28 on June 23, 2017

      This was really good, although time consuming to prep. I particularly loved the combo of olive oil, mint, and manchego with the fresh, raw fava beans. Because shelling the beans is such a pain, I only made a small portion.

    • Jardimc on June 26, 2023

      First time preparing fava beans to be eaten raw. This is simple and absolutely delicious, with or without the salami. And elegant!

  • Butter lettuce with oranges, avocado, and shallot vinaigrette

    • mirage on January 01, 2016

      Pretty salad

    • 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.

    • Rutabaga on January 03, 2018

      This is a nice winter salad option. My husband didn't eat the oranges, but I think most people will enjoy them here. The dressing is simple and refreshing without being overly sweet.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • metacritic on October 23, 2021

      Phenomenal. Now that I've made this several times, I don't find it to be very difficult in the least. The star anise, in particular, gives the pickle rare depth and permeates any burger. I won't make burgers without having this onion on hand, any longer, and haven't for many years. A single recipe often lasts me 6 months.

  • 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.

  • Brouillade aux orties

    • wester on August 08, 2013

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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:

    • lorloff on May 16, 2020

      Really wonderful brilliant dish I can’t agree more with the others who recommended it. The technique was spot on. I thought there would be too much vegetable for the size of the pan but she was right it cooked perfectly. Don’t skip the homemade optional breadcrumbs. They turn the dish into a show stopper. Will make again.

    • TrishaCP on July 14, 2020

      We enjoyed this pasta, though I agree there was a bit of oily mouthfeel at the end and I would use pasta water in place of some of the oil next time. I would also skip the fennel- I agree it tasted a bit out of place. I had purple cauliflower from my CSA and it was very pretty in this dish. I didn’t use the breadcrumbs but did use the anchovies.

    • bernalgirl on February 12, 2022

      I had an enormous cauliflower and wanted a simple side for grilled salmon and a green salad. This filled the bill, I substituted chopped anchovy-stuffed olives for oil cured, thereby removing almost every pop of color but we all enjoyed this simple and flavorful dish.

    • 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.

    • Barb_N on March 29, 2020

      We made this to use both broccoli and cauliflower from an earlier grocery run. We did not have olives so put a bit of tapenade in, along with the capers, anchovies and red pepper flakes. I think we skimped too much on the oil and did not compensate with pasta water. It served its purpose to avoid food waste, but not my favorite.

    • Lepa on November 12, 2020

      This was a good way to use up a lot of cauliflower and broccoli that was in my refrigerator and, in the end, it was pretty good. But we didn't love it and there are several broccoli/pasta and cauliflower/pasta recipes I cook regularly that are much better. Probably not a repeat.

    • mistercalvert on March 27, 2020

      The recipe - as with so many of Judy Rodgers' - was simple, easy to follow produced a brilliant, tasty and (it was pointed out) vegan supper dish. This has gone straight to become a firm family favourite. Slicing and browning the cauliflower / broccolli is a must and I used less oil (by a tablespoon) than suggested.

  • 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.

    • Rinshin on March 14, 2019

      Good use of small quantity of ricotta you have leftover and few eggs. I made this with 3 extra large eggs as well as leftover green soy beans. Added about 2/3 C of pasta water to thin out the sauce to our liking. Not as smooth as I hoped, but the taste was quite good and simple to make. Photo added.

    • Lepa on February 06, 2020

      This was fine but not as good as the more traditional carbonaras I have made. I'll keep looking for my ideal recipe.

    • clcorbi on October 29, 2017

      Yum. Per Wester's comment, I decided to totally omit the peas. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as written. This isn't a traditional carbonara, and my sauce didn't get quite as silky as I expected--then again, the author does say that the sauce forms curds because of the ricotta, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. At any rate, the result was quite good. I am still on the lookout for a more traditional carbonara recipe--I turned to this one because I had ricotta to use up. If I find myself in that situation again, I would definitely repeat this.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Salmon cooked with flageolets, bacon, and red wine

    • wester on August 20, 2013

      OK, but not brilliant. Try it with cherry tomatoes and crisp-fried bacon?

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Kringler on October 14, 2013

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

    • TrishaCP on April 25, 2020

      I also loved the bread salad and the brining step worked well. It could be my oven, but I ended up pulling the chicken out and onto the grill to keep it from overcooking.

    • 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.

    • 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...

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!

    • okmosa on May 02, 2021

      I’ve made this chicken only twice in the past few years. I remember generally liking it the first time but not much more than that. But recently, after salting for one day, the roast came out on the dry side and the skin stuck to my baking dish. The flavor of the chicken, of course, is deliciously seasoned. I’ll give this another go, probably in another year, and will use a cast iron really heated up and make the bread salad, too.

    • 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.

    • Rinshin on February 26, 2020

      Loved the bread salad but my chicken was overcooked. I did watch the browning of chicken skin carefully based on the book photo. My chicken browned more in certain spots so it was splotchy. Did not have problems with chicken sticking and chicken was prepped about 2 days ahead. Should have used an instant thermometer to check the doneness like I normally do. The taste was good but overall too dry. Next time, adjust the temp or time. The best part was the bread salad. I used ribbons of romaine, radicchio and roasted peanuts in place of micro-greens and pine nuts. Also added 2” long asparagus to garlic and scallions for quick sauté. Loved the addition of asparagus to the bread salad. Made gravy sauce with white wine and water to the pan juice. It made superb tasting pan juice for the chicken and bread salad.

    • Rachaelsb on January 15, 2022

      I have hesitated to make this dish-afraid that something so lauded would disappoint…it didn’t! Chicken was so tender and flavorful and I could eat the bread salad for days.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Dannausc on January 08, 2018

      Quite good and not nearly as difficult as it would seem considering it’s a five page recipe. Looks lovely too!

    • mpo on December 25, 2022

      This is the second time I've made this and did brine the chicken this time. I do think it makes a difference. You need to read the steps in advance though and don't skimp on the pine nuts, garlic and green onions.

    • ssouss on November 09, 2022

      THE best roast chicken I've ever made! Bread salad is the most labor intensive part of the recipe, but it's well worth it. Will be making this again and again!

    • sassy_momma on February 27, 2023

      This is my go to recipe for roasted chicken. It's amazing-crispy skin and moist meat. Love this recipe!

  • 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.

  • 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

    • TrishaCP on February 18, 2019

      This recipe is really the standard for mashed potatoes. The buttermilk is great- adds some acid to lighten things up,

    • 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.

    • Rutabaga on November 24, 2017

      This recipe resulted in beautiful, classic mashed potatoes. The combination of cream (or half and half), buttermilk, and butter was just right, making for mashed potatoes that were still fluffy and not overly rich. I used Yukon Golds. This will now be my go-to recipe for traditional tasting mashed potatoes.

    • 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.

    • clcorbi on May 01, 2017

      Made these a second time to go with the Coq au Vin from AOC, and they were still delicious! This time we subbed a mix of sour cream and creme fraiche for the buttermilk. If my memory serves, I think the version with buttermilk was a bit better, but this was was still tasty too.

    • amandabeck on November 24, 2023

      Delicious, straightforward, and simple!

    • jimandtammyfaye on June 29, 2023

      Tried and true recipe for mashed potatoes. When using russets, I always use the full amount of buttermilk/milk.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Avocet on July 29, 2018

      This was good, but not great. It seems like it needed something more, a little lemon perhaps, or some garlic, more thyme? The onions weren't cooked enough when the other ingredients were and had to be cooked longer. Next time I'll cut them into smaller wedges.

    • 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.

    • ashallen on October 13, 2019

      This is a recipe I'd really like to try again since I love the idea of fresh figs + chicken. The first time I made it, the quality of my figs was unfortunately so-so - they're not cooked enough in this recipe for weak flavor not to matter. I was also too hesitant about reducing the sauce. Probably in part due to the weak figs, the sauce definitely needed to reduced to a syrupy consistency to concentrate the flavors. Between the figs and the not-reduced-enough sauce, the overall flavor of the dish was too watery/mild to be special.

  • 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.

    • Zosia on July 23, 2018

      Loved the freshness and tang that the sorrel added to this soup.

  • Shredded radicchio with anchovy vinaigrette, bread crumbs, 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.

    • Lepa on April 11, 2019

      Quick and utterly delicious! I added some shredded roasted chicken, which went very well with this salad.

  • Crostini with fava-egg salad and smoked trout

    • SheilaS on March 15, 2019

      I was worried that the egg salad made with olive oil would be heavy but it's actually very light. I made the variation that substitutes asparagus for the fava beans and liked the crispness that the raw asparagus added.

  • Crostini with bean purée and sardines in chimichurri

    • SheilaS on September 24, 2022

      Warm white beans are smashed, spread on toasts then topped with sardines warmed in chimichurri and a bit more of the chimichurri sauce at the end. These are delicious. Just the thing to turn a simple salad or soup into a meal. If you are squeamish about seeing little fishies on your toast, just mash them up into the chimichurri and spoon that over the beans

    • clcorbi on July 21, 2017

      Amazing. Five stars. I have been trying to find more ways to eat sardines, and this is the perfect way. We cheated and used canned beans to make this weeknight-friendly, although I'm certain homemade beans would have been even more heavenly. If you go the canned route, make sure to season the mixture aggressively so that is stands up to the sardines. I didn't grill our crostini, just toasted them and rubbed with garlic, my normal method. The chimichurri is what makes these--it's excellent and worth making on its own, but the flavor also perfectly sets off the other toppings. Garnished with parsley, these look pretty, and would make a great appetizer for entertaining. I will definitely repeat.

  • Sage grilled cheese

    • SheilaS on March 15, 2019

      I used Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar and really enjoyed the sage on these little sandwiches.

    • Bloominanglophile on November 13, 2018

      Yesterday I was thumbing through this cookbook and was excited when I realized I had the ingredients for this recipe. Yay-- lunch was set! Unfortunately, I wasn't crazy about it. In total agreement with clcorbi, and wondered if I needed a stronger cheese than the Bel Gioso fontina, which I admit is rather insipid. The sage didn't contribute much flavor, either. Not a repeat.

    • clcorbi on November 20, 2017

      I thought this was pretty good, but not great or repeat-worthy. It wasn't enough of an improvement on a regular grilled cheese to make the oil-infusion step worth the effort. I do wonder if I should have let the oil infuse for even longer and if that might have helped, but then again, when I want a grilled cheese I want it to be quick to throw together. I also think a funkier cheese than gruyere could have helped this sandwich shine.

  • New Year's Eve gougères with arugula, bacon and Carol's pickled onions

    • SheilaS on March 15, 2019

      I love these little gougères. They freeze well and reheat beautifully. In addition to the arugula, bacon and pickled onions, I added a spoon of the slow-cooked scrambled eggs to turn them into little breakfast bites.

  • Bosc pears with fennel, fresh walnuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and balsamic vinegar

    • SheilaS on March 15, 2019

      A very simple plate that will show off the best quality ingredients.

  • Pasta with preserved tuna and pine nuts

    • SheilaS on March 19, 2019

      I've made this before and loved it with oil-packed tuna belly but this was my first time making the tuna confit. I used the same seasonings that Judy calls for but packed the tuna into jars and used my immersion circulator to cook them for 90 min @ 45°C (113°F), following time/temp guidelines from Chef Steps. The tuna itself is decidedly more flavorful this way as it's had plenty of time to absorb all those flavors and I'm looking forward to using it in other ways. Also, you are rewarded for your earlier effort by not having to measure the seasonings out for the pasta. Once the tuna is prepped, this pasta dish comes together quickly and for something so easy, the flavors are remarkably complex - I love the preserved lemon here!

    • 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.

    • crandall57 on October 25, 2023

      An excellent and easy pasta dish. I used tonino tuna fillets with oregano in oliveoil and followed the directions for canned tuna. I cut the recipe in half for two people, vut used the entire jar of tuna (minus the little bit I put on Winslow's food). I used capers and chopped preserved lemons. I put a tiny bit of finishing oil over the top before serving. Will make this again.

    • Rutabaga on September 21, 2017

      I had all the ingredients on hand for this dish except for tuna, so I made a vegetarian version using cannellini beans. To accentuate the briny flavors, I included both capers and green olives, and instead of adding oil and "sludge" from the tuna, I added oil and "sludge" from the jar of homemade preserved lemons. I also added three large cloves of thinly sliced garlic, which I sautéed in oil before adding the capers and olives. The salty, strong flavors the capers and olives and the citrusy funk of the preserved lemon were a great pairing with the simple beans. For the leftovers, I plan to buy some olive-oil packed tuna to add in. All in all, it's a very versatile and simple pantry pasta dish with lots of flavor. We topped the vegetarian version with grated Parmesan, which was delicious, but I'll probably forgo that after I add the tuna.

    • MmeFleiss on June 15, 2017

      We made this as part of dinner today using bottled tuna and it was really quick and delicious. Definitely a repeater.

    • 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.

  • Sand dabs with shallots, sea beans, and sherry vinegar

    • SheilaS on May 26, 2023

      The combination of browned butter from frying the fish plus shallots, sea beans and sherry vinegar makes a quick and easy but very delicious sauce. That sauce will also enhance most any steamed veg that might be served on the side. I was lucky to find foraged sea beans at my local farmers market and had a mild white fish (Pacific grenadier) on hand so that's what I used. I wouldn't hesitate to try this with the alternatives (capers, caper berries or pickled sea beans)

  • Mandarins and dates stuffed with mascarpone, pomegranates, and pistachios

    • SheilaS on March 20, 2019

      This dessert follows the pattern of the simple Zuni starters or salads that consist of a few perfect ingredients layered together and allow you to experience every combination of them as you choose with your fork - delicious! I didn't want to waste any of the flesh or juice from the perfect little Satsumas that a friend gave me from her tree so instead of cutting off the peel with a knife, I peeled them by hand and carefully scraped off as much of the pith as possible. I often find dates too sweet but they were perfect here. I think one could turn this into a starter by adding some salty prosciutto and maybe a drizzle of vinaigrette but it's pretty darn perfect as is.

  • "Rough puff" pastry

    • SheilaS on September 25, 2021

      I made this for the peach crostata and for a non-pastry person, it worked out great. Even with the chill/rest steps, I can toss this together in the time it takes a frozen puff to thaw so I expect to make it often.

  • 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. Unique cut makes the dish special. Good variation: make with tarragon or mint instead of basil.

    • Zosia on July 30, 2018

      Fresh tasting, flavourful and pretty as well.

  • 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.

  • Chard with lemon oil

    • okcook on June 16, 2011

      This is fantastic with fresh from the garden chard.

  • 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:

    • 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.

  • 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).

    • amandaeats on January 15, 2024

      Zuni Cafe Cookbook project : recipe #1 Excellent chicken stock; the slightly fussy beginning instructions really paid off with a clear, gorgeous stock

  • Chicken bouillabaisse

    • 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.

    • Mary.Fred on December 05, 2010

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

    • chawkins on February 10, 2020

      Just lovely and yet so simple. Don't skip the toast with aioli, it added texture and richness to the dish.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • Dannausc on November 23, 2019

      Fairly easy. Quite good. Craveable.

  • Chocolate pots de crème

    • jodies on October 19, 2011

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

    • peaceoutdesign on December 17, 2021

      I made this Sous Vide at 190F for 45 minutes and otherwise, the only change was adding 2t espresso powder. The texture was great but the richness lacked a bit, maybe a recipe without the whole milk and more chocolate. Sous vide was the way to go and I could do 12 mason small jars at a time. Plan on serving with fresh whip cream and toasted, skinned hazelnuts.

  • 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.

  • Boiled kale with eggs, fried or poached

    • TrishaCP on October 01, 2017

      I've been making the boiled kale at least once a week since first trying the recipe, and I made the egg version with kale leftover from last night's dinner. It is heavenly with a runny egg yolk. Highly recommended!

    • 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.

    • amandaeats on January 15, 2024

      Zuni Cafe Cookbook project : recipe #3 So perfect for a January breakfast, when good lacinato kale is in season; light and satisfying. I added a little bit of shaved parmesan at the end

  • Boiled kale

    • TrishaCP on September 16, 2017

      I thought this was amazing- much, much better than it sounds. It had great depth of flavor (I did use a cup of chicken broth in place of one cup of water; and chile flakes, but no garlic), and I look forward to making the versions with toast, farrotto, etc.

    • 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.

    • amandaeats on January 15, 2024

      Zuni Cafe Cookbook project : recipe #2 As others have said, more than meets the eye. Loved sipping on the extra pot liquor.

  • Endive and Fuyu persimmon salad with pecans

    • TrishaCP on December 08, 2019

      A simple and delicious salad. My endive were quite small so my salad was pretty heavy on persimmon, but this made a lovely starter for a seafood dinner.

  • Braised fennel

    • blintz on January 15, 2018

      Frogcake is right! The vermouth really makes the fennel sing. Made it ahead of time and reheated it as suggested and it was fine. Finished it under the broiler with some parmigianio right before serving.

    • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

    • bktravels on August 21, 2020

      I had leftover cooked penne and corn on the cob, so I thought this might be a good vehicle. It turned out to be a delicious dish. I did not use nearly this amount of butter. Since I wasn't cooking fresh pasta, I used white wine to create a little sauce. The fresh sage from our garden was lovely in it, but I would add more. Lots of black pepper. It was delicious! I also considered adding crushed red pepper and will try that next time. Beautiful dinner on the deck on a perfect August evening.

    • clcorbi on August 17, 2017

      With an ingredient list like this, how could this pasta not be luscious? We LOVED it. I halved the recipe to serve two people, and couldn't bring myself to use the full stick of butter called for; I used more like 3/4 stick. We ended up with a third serving leftover, which makes sense since this is so rich. But, wow, is it good. The salty pancetta, sweet corn, and cracked pepper play off each other beautifully. I made this with shell pasta because that's what I had, and I really liked how the shells caught the corn and bits of pancetta, so I would do that again. I also added a pinch of red pepper flakes at the end to offset the sweetness of the corn. This is also a really weeknight-friendly recipe that involves very little prep, so I'd definitely make it again (on a night when we are feeling indulgent).

    • hibeez on August 06, 2022

      This was surprisingly easy and delicious. My pancetta was quite fatty, and I did not sauté it with the specified amount of butter; even so, I drained off a good portion of fat. I crisped the pancetta as well. Made half a recipe and used two ears of corn; would have been better with more. Used homemade pasta bits that were in the freezer; they absorbed the sauce nicely. As others said, I used more sage (4x amount) and it still could have used more.

  • 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.

  • Connie & Maryanna's chimichurri

    • bernalgirl on June 11, 2021

      This is a wonderfully complex if not totally familiar chimichurri, I used dried Turkish oregano and dried thyme instead of fresh, eliminated the rosemary and cut back the paprika by a bit. Absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to spoon it on a fried egg in the morning.

    • clcorbi on July 21, 2017

      Okay, this is a DELICIOUS chimichurri. I don't think it's a super traditional one--with all the paprika, it comes out a sort of rusty color. But wow, the flavor is out of this world. I blended it because, as written, the texture was a bit chunkier than I wanted (and there were crumbles of bay leaves floating in it). I almost made a half-recipe, but decided to go with a full one, and I'm so glad I did. This would be excellent drizzled over most things, but I'm especially excited to try it on a crispy fried egg.

  • Oxtails braised in red wine

    • bernalgirl on August 09, 2023

      This recipe is outstanding as written, my only change was a dash of chile flakes. I appreciate the time estimates as well as the notes on how each step builds a deeply flavored braise. Once the meat is browned and the stock is reduced, this is mostly hands-off and the result is worth the time time.

  • Pasta with braised bacon and roasted tomato sauce

    • bernalgirl on November 06, 2020

      Rendered and crisped thick-cut bacon as shortcut suggests, this sauce is addictive.

  • 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.

  • Roasted or grilled quail

    • twoyolks on May 16, 2016

      Nice, simple grilled quail.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Beacooks on September 25, 2017

      Used appx 2 1/2 in by 1 1/2 in rose fingerlings halved. Used convection roast setting and removed aluminum foil last 5 min. Cooking time about 30-35. Olive oil and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc combination created flavorful moist interior and crisp skin.

  • 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.

    • Beacooks on September 25, 2017

      Delicious hearty soup. Accidentally used 1/3 cup of Arborio rice instead of 1/4 cup. Turned out well.

    • bching on April 29, 2021

      Very good soup. The asparagus cooking step takes a looong time. Even so, I'll be making this every spring.

    • pistachiopeas on April 11, 2017

      Simple and very satisfying soup.

    • meginyeg on June 12, 2023

      This was great. Absolutely delicious.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Oranges with rosemary honey

    • peaceoutdesign on May 19, 2022

      Nice light, and refreshing.

    • Zosia on December 17, 2013

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • Lepa on August 15, 2019

      We thought this was okay but a bit bland. I make a similar salad from Rachel Roddy that includes tuna, capers and eggs and we prefer that salad.

  • House-cured larger cuts of pork

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Zuni fideus with wild mushrooms and peas

    • Rutabaga on January 13, 2018

      This is a nice, gently flavored pasta dish, a little different from the usual. I used vermicelli rather than capellini. I imagine Rodgers called for capellini here because vermicelli or fideus were harder to source at the time this book was written. inexplicably (to me), the kids practically refused to eat it, despite the fact that they do eat these ingredients in other preparations. But although my husband and I liked it, it's a fairly time consuming dish for what it is - not difficult, and fairly hands-off, but it's a long time from start to finish. This was exacerbated by the fact that I had to bake it in the oven for about 25 minutes before it started to brown, not ten as listed in the recipe. Perhaps it would have gone quicker had I not added the last 1 1/2 cups of stock, or if I had switched it to the broiler sooner.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Risotto with wild rice, squash, and wild mushrooms

    • e_ballad on October 22, 2019

      This was ok, but it needed something more to like it. I did like the textural element of the wild rice though - I might incorporate this into a preferred risotto recipe. The portions would have been huge for the number of portions specified.

    • Dannausc on November 24, 2019

      Good and fairly easy.

  • 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.

  • The Zuni hamburger

    • metacritic on October 24, 2021

      What else is there to say about one of the world's best known recipes. It starts with a simple salting of the meat. I have never ground it myself and just use mince. The ratios are perfect, resulting in a pronounced meaty flavor. I can't imagine trying any other recipe. When paired with some good cheddar or blue cheese and the Zuni pickled red onions and a decent bun you have a meal that is simple and sublime at the same time.

  • Marinated roasted beets

    • clcorbi on March 26, 2018

      This is a really nice, simple marinade for beets. My only caveat, and the reason I gave this recipe only 3.5 stars, is because of the roasting instructions--25 minutes will get you beets that are just knife-tender, but to me, they are still far too crunchy to be enjoyable. I should have followed my gut and roasted them for at least 10 minutes longer, but the instructions specifically said not to overcook, so I pulled them out. Next time I'll roast to my preferred softness and then follow the marinade instructions.

  • Eggs baked in restes

    • clcorbi on May 15, 2017

      Yum. Such an easy, satisfying template for a leftovers dinner! I made a two-serving batch using braising liquid from a Coq au Vin, plus some shredded brisket. I didn't even bother reducing the braising liquid, since I knew it was already thick and nicely seasoned. Served with crusty garlic bread, this made a really nice meal and was so fast to throw together.

  • Pasta with sardines and tomato sauce

    • clcorbi on August 24, 2017

      This was nice, and since I used canned sardines rather than fresh, fairly easy to throw together on a weeknight. I roasted the canned tomatoes the night before preparing this. I accidentally bought diced tomatoes rather than whole, and they didn't really get very browned during roasting--I'd probably roast them twice as long next time. I also let the sauce simmer a bit longer than called for to reduce it. I ended up using the full quantity of the tomato sauce on my pound of pasta--if I had only used half, I think it would have been too dry. Anyway, this isn't the best pasta dish I've tried from this book (only because others have been SO good), but we liked it.

  • Grilled broccoli rabe

    • mjes on September 09, 2021

      Sometimes I need reminded of how superb the simple can be.

  • Sage pesto

    • amandaeats on January 15, 2024

      Zuni Cafe Cookbook project : recipe #4 Loved this - however I couldn't find my mortar & pestle so I doubled it and ended up using the food processor. Enjoyed both tossed with angel hair and as a sauce for a simple sautéed chicken breast.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52 by Celia Sack

    It tells you why you're doing what you're doing in the kitchen, by a great writer. My favorite recipe is the Chicken Braised with Figs, Honey & Vinegar.

    Full review

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 W. W. Norton & Company
  • 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.

Other cookbooks by this author