Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton

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Notes about this book

  • Eat Your Books

    EYB created a printable PDF index for this book which is available on the restaurant's website.

  • Radish on March 20, 2015

    You will go crazy without an index. I bought the kindle and then had to buy the book. The book is really growing on me. There are some fabulous recipes that I have made, such a fennel gratin and a braised cabbage recipe. Buy the book and buy stickums to remember your place.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Grilled hamburger with cheddar cheese on toasted English muffin with parsley-shallot butter

    • Gio on October 19, 2015

      We used 1/2 lb. lamb and 1/2 lb bison instead of beef and made four burgers. I cut the parsley-shallot butter by 3/4 lb. and adjusted the other ingredients accordingly. The sandwich size toasted and buttered Thompson English muffins were delicious and just the right vehicle to carry the hefty burger. I thought the burger itself was tasty but would have cooked for a few minutes less. It was too well done for me following the directions precisely. This burger does not need any further condiment than the parsley-shallot butter. .

    • tekobo on September 04, 2016

      Made tarragon and shallot butter and served on toasted brioche buns. Delicious!

  • Whole roasted cauliflower with fried capers and brown butter bread crumbs

    • okcook on January 26, 2016

      This recipe is on page 195! Stupid not having an index! What was she thinking.

    • okcook on May 22, 2017

      We made this breaking the cauliflower into florets as recommended. Delicious.

    • pistachiopeas on October 13, 2015

      The shape of the cauliflower makes the fried capers just roll off, which is too bad because they are one of the best things about this recipe. Next time I'd just break the cauliflower into florets and add the toppings.

  • Braised fennel with Pernod butter and trout roe

    • L.Nightshade on October 11, 2015

      Well, this was quite nice. It certainly plates attractively, with the bright roe on top of the pale green bulbs. And, if you like fennel and Pernod (I do), it was delicious. I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to serve this at a dinner party. Preheat the oven to 350º, which is not mentioned in the instructions. Photo here:

  • Grilled head-on shrimp with anchovy butter

    • L.Nightshade on October 12, 2015

      I think the photo is misleading, as she makes such a point of how very dark and very brown the anchovies should be, then it looks like they are plated with pale, clarified butter. Anyway, we thought this was very good. Of course, you have to love anchovies. And butter. And shrimp. And we do. Eating shrimp in-shell is always a little messy, especially if they are small, so I wouldn’t serve this at a white-tablecloth dinner, but it was great for a casual seaside meal. Photo and complete write-up here:

  • Razor clams with smoked paprika butter and hominy

    • L.Nightshade on October 07, 2015

      The recipe calls for razor clams which are not available here, so I thought I’d try it with some local Manila clams. I’m not sufficiently familiar with razors to know how much the switch affected the outcome. On top of that, I split the dish, and made mine without hominy. Consequently, I’m not going to be the best judge of this recipe. This was good, not spectacular. Mine suffered without the hominy. Mr. NS tasted with and without, and as expected, thought the hominy made a big difference. But he still did not feel it was a repeatable dish. I didn't think the flavor was sufficiently complex; as much as I love smoked paprika, smoked paprika and butter just left me wanting a bit more contrast. Photo here:

  • Greek salad

    • L.Nightshade on October 09, 2015

      I didn’t realize it was designed to be part of a plate with grilled lamb chops, so I didn’t have the lamb chop juices that are supposed to mingle with the dressing like the recipe states (although the photo shows them plated separately). It stood up on its own anyway. The order of events seemed a bit finicky, but perhaps resulted in better absorption of the vinegar by the cukes? Not sure. The salad is topped with a sprinkle of dried oregano (which is not included in the ingredient list). I hovered over the dried oregano, and gazed at the oregano going crazy in the herb garden, eventually decided to follow the recipe. (I know, out of character for me.) I did add a grind of black pepper at the last. A perfectly decent Greek salad this was. I do prefer a chopped salad in general, one for which a knife is not needed, but the flavors were all there. Next time, however, I’ll go with the fresh oregano. The dried tasted very good, but sheesh, that’s why I have an herb garden, isn’t it?

  • Cod in saffron broth with leeks, potatoes, and Savoy cabbage

    • L.Nightshade on October 19, 2015

      I apparently flunked on the seasoning instruction “Take care with your seasoning – it wants to be bold and have a point of view, but not aggressive or unbalanced.” You can’t really tell if your fish seasoning has a point of view until you’ve cooked it and tasted it (and gazed at the world from its perspective). Mr. NS thought it came on a bit too strong. I love berbere and fenugreek, so I thought it was fine, but I could see his point. My broth never became viscous as described, in spite of reducing significantly. In fact I ended up adding a bit more stock in order to have a sufficient amount for the vegetables. The saffron works surprisingly well with the cabbage and leeks. The starchy potato is a nice complement to the spices, but it’s fine without also, if one is low carbing. All in all, I thought this was a good dish. I probably won’t make it again, just because there are so many great recipes for a piece of white fish, but I have no complaints.

  • Escarole salad in the Roman puntarelle style

    • L.Nightshade on October 07, 2015

      This salad is not quite revolutionary, but good enough. I liked the endive cut into ribbons, and I like most anything that is heavy on the garlic and anchovy. The addition of shaved ice seemed a bit odd, but it does pretty much dissolve into the dressing, and seems to keep the endive a little crispier than it might have been. Photo here:

  • Classic Prune Bloody Mary

    • L.Nightshade on October 10, 2015

      (The brand X version) Except for Lea and Perrins, I did not use any of the brand names called for, in spite of the highlighted, knuckle-slapping admonishment. Now, I am a bit of a Bloody Mary connoisseur. Not always with vodka, I like the gin and tequila versions also. I make them southwesterly with chiles and cumin. I make them Asian-esque, with sriracha and puréed kimchi. I make them whirred up with anchovies. And I make the traditional Bloody Mary, nicely garnished, with bacon if I have it. This one? Meh. As much as I love horseradish, it was ill-balanced in this drink. It was almost bitter, which I also do not ordinarily sense in horseradish. It was also too mild. Or maybe all my brand X ingredients really did bring it down. I’ll probably never know. But I will doctor up the remains to suit my taste. Oh, and I added a caperberry. Really went off the map with that indiscretion.

    • helskitchenvt on October 16, 2016

      After reading L.Nightshade's note, I did use the instructed brand ingredients and brought the result to a party where it was roundly praised as the best Bloody Mary ever, so my vote is that you do need to follow directions here. . . (it really is a lot of horseradish though, that is true - I'd recommend starting with half as much and building up to your desired strength).

  • Salt and pepper pork chops

    • L.Nightshade on October 10, 2015

      Mr. Nightshade made these, and there were a couple deviations from the recipe, as usual. Our chops were loin chops, which are specifically precluded in the ingredient list, but they were the thickness specified. Also, he used a cast iron skillet. The chops developed a nice char on the outside, which was quite tasty with the salt and pepper. But to my taste they were slightly overdone using her timing. Perhaps that is due to the loin chop substitution? Or perhaps I just like them a little bit pinker. While these were tasty, and certainly easy, I felt they needed a little contrast. They're all umami and salt. I would have loved a tiny ramekin of something bright and faintly sweet alongside. We had a simple salad alongside, perhaps a salad with apples instead of tomatoes would have filled out the flavors better.

    • Zosia on January 29, 2016

      There's a reason you're instructed not to use loin chops! I cooked them for less time than instructed and they were still overdone. The butter you're supposed to add at the end may have helped but I used a little garlic infused olive oil instead and it didn't.

    • pistachiopeas on June 28, 2017

      We've made this again a couple of times this year. Fantastic recipe. So juicy and flavorful, but EASY.

    • pistachiopeas on October 13, 2015

      The quality of the pork matters a lot here. I loved this recipe and I think it will be my go to when I need to do something quickly with pork chops.

  • Sliced Jersey beefsteak tomatoes with warm French salted butter

    • wcassity on October 16, 2016

      I didn't think the browned butter did anything for the tomatoes.

  • Soft scrambled eggs

    • nadiam1000 on June 18, 2017

      perfect scrambled eggs - cooked in my 10 inch cast iron skillet and served with prosciutto and toast. I had similar eggs at Croft Alley in LA and was determined to re-create them.

  • Radishes with sweet butter and kosher salt

    • stockholm28 on October 10, 2015

      There isn't much to this and GH's instructions primarily focus on the presentation aspects to make sure the dish is "graceful on the plate". I used some lovely French breakfast radishes from the farmers market and basically laid things out as she dictates. After tasting a couple with kosher salt, I swapped it out for Maldon sea salt. With the kosher salt, my radishes ended up way too salty. With the Maldon sea salt, it was easier to just get a couple of flakes on the radish.

  • Omelette with Parmesan

    • stockholm28 on October 10, 2015

      Surprisingly, I'd never made an omelette with parmesan and have no idea why. It was delicious. I appreciated her technique with the precise instructions on the dragging the egg procedure. I did not let the egg brown as much as she specifies because I hate overcooked eggs. This was a nice dinner and it will be repeated for sure as I always have eggs, butter, and parm in the fridge.

  • Spaghetti alla carbonara

    • stockholm28 on November 04, 2015

      This is a simplified version. Fine for a quick meal, but not noteworthy.

  • Sliced oranges with vanilla bean and rose water

    • Zosia on January 29, 2016

      A lovely way to serve this fruit. I prepared the oranges a few hours in advance so they actually macerated in the rose water and vanilla bean seeds, and were infused with these flavours. Absolutely delicious! I omitted the vanilla bean pod garnish (is it even edible this way?) and saved it for another use.

  • Farmhouse chicken braised in hard cider

    • Barb_N on February 01, 2015

      I made this with a whole chicken- braising it in the oven for about an hour. It smelled AMAZING and the jus is the color of persimmons. I think I needed more vinegar, maybe at the end, but I had used it all up.

    • Prilla on April 09, 2019

      Family go to for fall, everyone loves it.

  • Braised green cabbage with anchovies and garlic

    • pistachiopeas on October 13, 2015

      Good but not great. Nothing special, really.

  • Broiled ruby red grapefruit with wheat chex streusel

    • lhudson on July 09, 2015

      Got this cookbook from the library and this was one of the few recipes I could try at home, without needing special equipment or ingredients. It was great!. Only one adjustment was necessary in my mind, the amount of "streusel" was enough for 2 grapefruit and maybe even three. I do not have a home salamander so used the oven broiler and it turn out just fine.

  • Panfried trout with brown butter vinaigrette

    • delaneymes on April 13, 2019

      This is a beautiful recipe - the dressing is incredible. It’s easy to make in advance and then bring up to temp when the trout is ready. We added a pile of fresh watercress which rounded it off beautifully and cut through the richness.

  • Cardamom panna cotta with roasted black plums

    • tekobo on December 27, 2016

      Made for Christmas 2016. Didn't get any taste of cardamom in the panna cotta. Maybe crush the pods next time. Used nectarines in place of plums. Delicious.

  • Pigeon with parsley vinaigrette and seeded toasts

    • tekobo on July 02, 2016

      Simple and the toasts, soaked in vinaigrette, are crazily addictive.

  • Mackerel escabeche, sliced sweet capicola, buttered rye crackers, and celery leaves

    • tekobo on March 18, 2018

      Great recipe to prep in advance. Loved by all.

  • Roasted mixed onions with onion butter and toasted seeds

    • Frogcake on September 11, 2016

      I scaled down this recipe using one pound of mixed onion but made the toasted seeds as directed. We loved the taste combinations here with the onions coming together in various degrees of sweetness. The various onions also char uniquely, which made for a very delicious side dish. I've also served this as a sauce for egg noodles, sprinkled with toasted seeds. Yum.

    • Frogcake on September 11, 2016

      I forgot to mention -I toasted the seeds in my toaster oven.

  • Braised dandelion greens with mastixa and feta

    • helskitchenvt on April 15, 2016

      These taste great as a flatbread too. . . don't forget that mastic is a resin and it will likely destroy any spice grinder you might use to pulverize the granules (so pound it instead or dedicate a mastic-d grinder).

  • Salsa verde

    • Totallywired on October 19, 2018

      Dynamite salsa verde, made more or less to spec. Makes a ton.

  • Shrimp shells for stock

    • Totallywired on January 02, 2019

      A useful ingredient list and method. I have made shrimp stock before and found it too shrimpy. This one is balanced and fragrant. Will use for shrimp laksa.

  • Whole roasted rabbit with pan drippings salsa verde

    • Totallywired on October 19, 2018

      Pan sauce was brilliant and rabbit well browned. Typically braise rabbit so the texture here is an adjustment, almost game bird-like. The saddle came out better than the legs. If I made again I think I would do only the saddle and braise the legs, or adapt the recipe for a capon.

  • Pickled shrimp

    • Totallywired on September 25, 2018

      This promised more than it delivered. Shrimp flavour lost in the pickle for me, which was overly bitter due to mustard seed overload. Next time I'd use larger shrimp, barely poach them, and, reduce the mustard and vinegar in the pickle.

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Reviews about this book

  • Food52 by Ryan Sutton

    The 2015 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks vs. Sean Brock's Heritage.

    Full review
  • Washington Post

    Would I recommend “Prune” to Post readers, in my role as cookbook reviewer? Honestly, I’m torn. I appreciate Hamilton’s genius with simple ingredients. I also appreciate a well-crafted recipe.

    Full review
  • Tasting Table

    Her memoir Blood, Bones & Butter was easily the finest work in the genre, so we have extremely high expectations for the chef's first cookbook, which will be packed with a whopping 250 recipes.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0812994094
  • ISBN 13 9780812994094
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Nov 04 2014
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 576
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Random House

Publishers Text

From Gabrielle Hamilton—the bestselling author of Blood, Bones & Butter—comes her eagerly anticipated cookbook debut filled with signature recipes from her acclaimed New York City restaurant Prune.

A self-trained cook turned James Beard Award–winning chef, Gabrielle Hamilton opened Prune on New York’s Lower East Side fifteen years ago to great acclaim and lines down the block, both of which continue today. A deeply personal and gracious restaurant, in both menu and philosophy, Prune uses the elements of home cooking and elevates them in unexpected ways. The result is delicious food that satisfies on many levels.

Highly original in concept, execution, look, and feel, the Prune cookbook is an inspired replica of the restaurant’s kitchen binders. It is written to Gabrielle’s cooks in her distinctive voice, with as much instruction, encouragement, information, and scolding as you would find if you actually came to work at Prune as a line cook. The recipes have been tried, tasted, and tested dozens if not hundreds of times. Intended for the home cook as well as the kitchen professional, the instructions offer a range of signals for cooks—a head’s up on when you have gone too far, things to watch out for that could trip you up, suggestions on how to traverse certain uncomfortable parts of the journey to ultimately help get you to the final destination, an amazing dish.

Complete with more than with more than 250 recipes and 250 color photographs, home cooks will find Prune’s most requested recipes—Grilled Head-on Shrimp with Anchovy Butter, Bread Heels and Pan Drippings Salad, Tongue and Octopus with Salsa Verde and Mimosa’d Egg, Roasted Capon on Garlic Crouton, Prune’s famous Bloody Mary (and all 10 variations). Plus, among other items, a chapter entitled “Garbage”—smart ways to repurpose foods that might have hit the garbage or stockpot in other restaurant kitchens but are turned into appetizing bites and notions at Prune.

Featured here are the recipes, approach, philosophy, evolution, and nuances that make them distinctively Prune’s. Unconventional and honest, in both tone and content, this book is a welcome expression of the cookbook as we know it.

This book does not have an index. You can access the printable index that EYB created for Prune at the restaurant’s website.

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