The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs

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Notes about this book

  • anniemac on November 08, 2016

    I have some quibbles with the recipe index. I was looking for soups, and ran across the Smokey Minestrone (which was very good!), but it was indexed under Smokey, as there is no index term for Soup. Indexing by adjective is not helpful!

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Secret ingredient beef stew

    • krusso119 on December 30, 2012

      My family loved this, I added some baby potatoes, sliced carrots and some mushrooms towards the end of the cooking time. I think the only thing I would change otherwise is maybe add just a little less vinegar, the sauce was slightly too acidic for my taste.

  • Sweet and savory tomato jam

    • Jane on October 11, 2019

      I thought this had too much sugar so reduced it by about a third. It was still very sweet. I thought unpleasantly so until I used it with cheese and crackers and it was a wonderful accompaniment. Looking at the comments on Food52, several felt it was too sweet and reduced the sugar. Other suggestions were to add grated fresh ginger which sounds a great idea. When I make it again next year I will do half the sugar and add the ginger.

    • Jviney on September 13, 2019

      This was a really pleasant surprise, and a great way to bottle up some summer. As the recipe says, it is both savory and sweet, killer with goat cheese. I’m planning on a Brie and tomato jam sandwich tomorrow...

  • Lentil and sausage soup for a cold winter's night

    • Prim on October 11, 2012

      Very good. I added 2 potatoes, chopped.

    • wcassity on December 25, 2019

      Good, solid recipe.

    • bwhip on March 08, 2017

      Excellent. Just like the recipe says - comforting without being heavy. Be careful with the type of sausage you select. I used some locally made sausage that was good, but was a little over-spiced. Spoonfuls of the soup were excellent, but the sausage was a little overpowering as a result.

  • Andouille and Dijon polenta

    • L.Nightshade on June 21, 2012

      An interesting way of making polenta. I had fully cooked Andouille, so I sautéed the onion (and some garlic) in duck fat, then added the chopped Andouille. Used duck stock instead of chicken stock, and used an entire big bunch of spinach instead of the small amount called for. Made the dijon sauce as directed. This was a lovely, rich dish. It was our entire meal after a busy day. I'd like to try it with some diced zucchini in the sauté. Next time a tomato salad will accompany.

    • Kfaber on December 14, 2013

      This is a nice warm and rich dish for a cold snowy day. Would definitely make it again

  • Tuscan chicken liver pâté

    • Kfaber on May 20, 2014

      Amazing! Parmesan cheese and sage add great flavor.

  • Lemony green bean salad with feta, red onion, and marjoram

    • Kfaber on August 25, 2013

      A favorite side dish recipe- so easy and delicious!

  • Smoky minestrone with tortellini and parsley pesto

    • bethihearyoucalling on April 07, 2013

      The pesto was so delicious --rustic and (for once!) not too garlicky. The soup was good too but I found it was not brothy enough (easy to fix).

  • Barbacoa beef cheek tacos

    • Melanie on March 28, 2014

      I was very impressed with this recipe and would definitely make it again. I used chuck steak and after marinating overnight the results were super soft and fall apart. Instead of the instant espresso powder I brewed an espresso. The pickled onion was also fantastic.

  • Ancho chile-cinnamon chocolate bark

    • Melanie on March 28, 2014

      Wow! I loved the taste of the chocolate with the spice mix blended through. I made a double recipe (and bumped the spice mixture up more than suggested). A single batch would make quite a small tray.

  • Magical coffee (aka Cafe Davio)

    • Melanie on February 17, 2012

      Very easy - leave a jar filled with water, coffee grounds, brown sugar and cinnamon in the fridge overnight. The next morning, strain into a glass with ice and milk. Tastes very refreshing and completely avoids turning the kettle on.

  • Double chocolate espresso cookies

    • Melanie on May 06, 2012

      These cookies are very impressive, definitely one for adults though due to the complex dark chocolate / coffee notes. I made a half batch (about 25 cookies) as I only had one egg at home but will definitely make the full recipe next time as they are a huge hit. I substituted roughly chopped chocolate for the chocolate chips which worked really well. I was interrupted halfway through so I formed the cookie balls and threw in the fridge for about 5 hours, baking them for about 15 minutes later that night. This worked really well as they are great straight out of the oven - nice and soft with pockets of melted chocolate.

    • hillsboroks on September 24, 2018

      Yum! Yum! Yum! These cookies are definitely going to go on my repeat list. You can't go wrong with cocoa and espresso powder plus dark chocolate chips. I only had a half package of Ghiradelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips on hand so I added a cup of toasted, chopped hazelnuts. This combination worked really well and I think I liked it better than all the extra chocolate chips. I baked them on parchment paper on light-colored aluminum baking sheets for a total of 10 minutes. I was baking two sheets at a time so I rotated them and switched between upper and lower racks at 5 minutes. They turned out perfectly and I got 63 cookies using my smallest ice cream scoop. There would have been a few more if we had been able to stop ourselves from eating the dough which is delicious.

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      Huge hit with the hubby; I did not let the three-year-old sample!!! I tried refrigerating them on the second batch and it didn’t work out as well but that may have been user error. An excellent cookie.

  • Prosciutto and Fontina panini with arugula pesto

    • wcassity on January 31, 2015

      Very delicious. A number of components, but they do not take too long to prepare. We cooked ours in panini press.

    • Medamida on January 20, 2014

      This is amazing. I always buy arugula at Trader Joe's buy rarely finish a bag. This pesto is a great way of never wasting arugula again. I have made this as an appetizer on baguette rounds with either prosciutto or bacon as a garnish. I have not made the pickled shallot element yet but someday I will.

  • Cider-brined pork with Calvados, mustard, and thyme

    • wcassity on December 25, 2019

      Delicious, addictive sauce. Came together quickly. Used much more Calvados than recipe called for to deglaze pan.

  • Lemony cream cheese pancakes with blueberries

    • wcassity on December 25, 2019

      Nice taste but the little pockets of cream cheese were weird, off-putting to the kids.

  • Blackberry caipirinha

    • wcassity on September 05, 2016

      I look forward to making these every summer.

  • Grilled blade chops over Greek salad

    • wcassity on September 05, 2016

      Great Greek salad recipe, great rub on the lamb though I'm not sure blade chop was my favorite cut - kabobs might have been better.

  • Smoked ham with pomegranate molasses, black pepper, and mustard glaze

    • wcassity on January 04, 2020

      Easy; great flavor combination. Everyone liked.

  • One-pot kale and quinoa pilaf

    • wcassity on January 04, 2020

      Easy, quick, tasty. Healthier alternative to a pasta dish that my kids love with similar taste profile. I used walnuts in lieu of pine nuts. Regular lemon in lieu of Meyer lemon would have been fine.

    • Maura on May 05, 2022

      Love this

    • Sannalee on April 30, 2013

      This was an amazing side. Super healthy and super delicious. I can already see that it will be made again and again.

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      I’ve made this many times and loved it every time. So delicious and healthy.

  • Seared scallops with spring onion and tarragon cream

    • bwehner on March 30, 2012

      Excellent. This isn't difficult. Make sure you have really good scallops

  • Grilled bread with thyme pesto and preserved lemon cream

    • Maura on May 05, 2022

      I get asked to make this every spring summer for parties, it’s really great!

  • Southwestern spiced sweet potato fries with chili-cilantro sour cream

    • meggan on March 07, 2021

      The flavors are good but I had a hell of a time getting these to be crispy and not just soggy and floppy.

    • acalexander on February 15, 2021

      So delicious!

    • mfranklin125 on February 07, 2017

      The sauce on this is awesome! Simple and delicious

    • bwhip on November 25, 2017

      Excellent, with just the right amount of spice. The sauce is the ideal accompaniment.

  • Leg of lamb with garlic sauce

    • meggan on November 28, 2012

      I made this for Thanksgiving and it was gone before I got to taste it. The sauce was good though.

  • Summer corn chowder

    • hillsboroks on October 01, 2018

      This is now my favorite corn chowder! The poblano and jalapeño peppers add just the right amount of heat and cooking the veggies together in their own juices really brings out the flavors. The corn does not over cook and the fresh flavor shines through.

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      With fresh summer ingredients, it was out of this world. I have a bowl of leftover chowder to my mother, and she called in the middle of lunch the next day to ask for the recipe.

  • Savory bread pudding

    • pwsnook on January 22, 2013

      Caramelize onion before adding to mixture. Increase oven temp to 375 or 400. Increase cooking time. (The latter may be necy due to altitude.) Toasting bread does make a difference in the end.

  • Moroccan carrot salad with harissa

    • Londonyankee on July 07, 2019

      I love preserved lemon but I think it overwhelmed this dish. I used the Instant Pot to steam the carrot coins but some were undercooked - my first time cooking carrot pieces in Instant Pot. It was a very full bowl so maybe that contributed to the problem. Next time I will use Smitten Kitchen’s carrot salad with feta - I like the shredded carrot and I think the flavor is more interesting than this recipe.

  • Turkey pho

    • Frogcake on December 28, 2017

      This was the most perfect soothing and delicious soup to eat after a day of skiing in minus 30degree Celsius weather. And I made another dent in the leftover turkey bowl. Will make this again soon.

  • Lazy Mary's lemon tart

    • Frogcake on January 05, 2018

      Fantastic! This was a big hit with my family. Served with lightly sweetened whipping cream . I used two small Meyer lemons. Will definitely make this again.

  • Simple summer peach cake

    • Frogcake on August 19, 2018

      Delicious! A unique butter cake due to the addition of almond flour. What a great base for a peach cake! Might be really amazing with the addition of a half cup of blueberries or raspberries.

  • Pink Bolognese

    • mfranklin125 on February 02, 2017

      This is a good one to bring to people if they had a baby or something. Good for potluck type too.

  • Smoky pork burgers with fennel and red cabbage slaw

    • bwhip on April 01, 2017

      Delicious! Juicy and flavorful burgers, and the fennel/cabbage slaw was perfect with them. We served them on potato rolls, and also prepared the Southwestern Spiced Sweet Potato Fries with Chili-Cilantro Sour Cream from the same cookbook. Also excellent! This dinner will definitely be on the menu again soon.

  • Arugula, pear, and goat cheese salad with pomegranate vinaigrette

    • bwhip on November 25, 2017

      Wonderful salad with lovely, bright flavors. My wife liked it so much she said she'd like to have it every night!

  • Spanish roasted potato salad

    • Jviney on August 05, 2021

      Super quick and really lovely. I think it came together with about five minutes of hands on time and just tasted so good. As one of the recipes notes in the book says, I would probably increase the potatoes to 1.5 lb for the amount of dressing the recipe makes.

  • Absurdly addictive asparagus

    • Jviney on May 04, 2021

      With fresh local asparagus, this truly was addictive. I only had two ounces of pancetta and of course it would be even better with four. Goes on the favorites list.

  • Wild ramp pesto

    • Jviney on May 01, 2018

      Not good but super good! I didn’t blanch the ramps, it’s delicious.

  • Goat cheese Caesar salad with roasted tomatoes and Parmesan crisp

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      I liked this but was left a little cold by the’s definitely an impressive dish and I’ll give it another go to see if i like it better the second time.

  • Bell-less, whistle-less, damn good French toast

    • Jviney on April 04, 2020

      This recipe couldn’t be easier or quicker, and was so good. My son wanted to try French toast for his 6th birthday breakfast - I’m not sure what else I would ask for or look for in a recipe.

  • Overnight steel-cut oats with almond butter and honey

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      This was too runny for me and lacked some flavour. My favourite porridge has become Food52’s genius recipe English Porridge, which tastes just like my grandfather’s.

  • Chocolate bundt cake

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      If you want to go all out on this, and it’s a very good recipe, buy the pine tree bundt cake pan from Nordic Ware. Butter it well and sift icing sugar over the unmoored cake right before serving. One of my guests got up from his seat to come and take a picture of it.

  • Zucchini pancakes

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      They were fine, but not outstanding. For sure a good way to use it up.

  • Pudding chômeur

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      This was lovely. I pressed the dough into the ramekins and think next time I would leave it crumbly, with air mixed in. It became a little heavy in the middle, and I’m pretty sure that was my fault.

  • Salad dressing

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      An unusual dressing, in a great way. I make this often.

  • Secret cookies

    • Jviney on April 17, 2018

      These were way more than the sum of their parts. Excellent recipe.

  • Roasted cauliflower soup with chimichurri and poblano crème fraîche

    • D.Barker on November 14, 2021

      This was really good. Each individual element added a lot of deliciousness to the dish!

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Reviews about this book

  • Gluten-Free Girl

    Note that the book was created by home cooks, with the key word being "exceptional". Open the cookbook and you’ll probably find 20 new recipes to try within a few moments. I know I did.

    Full review
  • Los Angeles Times

    So what do home cooks like?...dishes that are just a little different from what you might expect. And there is an admirably sensible focus on getting the most flavor with the least effort.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • Savory bread pudding

    • Los Angeles Times

      Nothing earth-shaking, but deeply and sincerely delicious, which, come to think of it, could be considered earth-shaking in its own way.

      Full review
  • ISBN 10 006188720X
  • ISBN 13 9780061887208
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Nov 15 2011
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 400
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Imprint William Morrow

Publishers Text

After years of testing recipes, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs know that the best meals come not from professional chefs at gourmet restaurants, but from the kitchens of home cooks, where practicality and inventiveness take center stage. At, skilled home cooks submit recipes and participate in a lively online community, competing each week by sending in their best seasonally appropriate recipe within a particular category. While Amanda and Merrill choose the finalists, readers vote for the best recipe. The Food52 Cookbook contains all 104 winning recipes, along with dozens of wild card favorites, including: Summer Corn Chowder, Lamb Burgers with Cilantro Yogurt, Fasoolya Khadra (Beef and Green Bean Stew), Grilled Blade Chops over Greek Salad, Not Red Velvet Cake with Fudge Glaze, and Strawberries with Lavender Biscuits. The Food52 Cookbook captures the community spirit and flavor that have made the website a success, and includes the authors' expert comments on every recipe, plus behind-the-scenes photos, tips and variations, reader comments, and brief features on the contributors.

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