The Food52 Cookbook NPR coverage of The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
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The Food52 Cookbook

140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks

by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs

Hardcover, 440 pages, HarperCollins, List Price: $35 |


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

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Book Summary

Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs wanted to find and celebrate the most exceptional home cooks in the country. So for one year, they ran recipe contests on their website, The 140 recipes in this book are the winners.

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Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Recipe: 'Zucchini Pancakes'

'Zucchini Pancakes'
Sarah Shatz/

Amanda & Merrill: These pancakes almost didn't get photographed because we began eating them, dabbed with Greek yogurt, as they emerged from the frying pan. A little grated potato binds the cakes and gives them the crispness of latkes, while the zucchini is fresh and lively, perfumed with lemon zest and parsley. Dagny said to squeeze out any extra moisture from the potatoes and zucchini with a towel, and you should definitely take this extra step. The pancakes will be crisper and lighter, and you, too, will devour them straight from the pan.

Serves 2

3 medium zucchini, trimmed

1 medium white potato, peeled


1 large egg

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of bread crumbs

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more as needed

2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek-style yogurt (optional)

Grate the zucchini and potato using the largest hole on your grater. You'll need 2 cups grated zucchini and 1 ⁄2 cup grated potato. Salt generously and let stand in a colander for at least 30 minutes to drain. The finished pancakes will hold together better if you drain out as much moisture as possible.

In a bowl, beat the egg, parsley, and lemon zest. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Roll and squeeze the zucchini-potato mixture in a towel to soak up moisture. Add a pinch of bread crumbs to soak up any leftover wetness.

Combine the zucchini-potato mixture with the egg mixture. Stir well to coat.

Heat the oven to 200F and place a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil in the oven to keep your pancakes warm as you make them.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter. You can use olive oil if you prefer, but butter is delicious. When the foam subsides, drop tablespoonfuls of your pancake mixture in the pan. You don't really need to form the pancakes in advance, but pat them with a spatula (or spread them with a fork) and try to flatten them out as much as possible — they'll be crispier that way.

Cook the pancakes until golden brown on each side, then place in the oven to keep warm while you make additional pancakes. Serve as soon as possible, and, if you like, with a dollop of sour cream or drained Greek-style yogurt on top for extra richness.

Tips and Techniques

If the batter seems too dry, you can add an extra egg to help it come together.

About the Cook

Dagny Prieto is a Brooklyn, New York–based user-experience designer. Here's her website: Her most treasured kitchen possession: "My Le Creuset braising pot."

What the Community Said

Camelotcook: "All I can say is wow! These bring back memories of what my mother used to make for me, and I will now make these for my grandson."

Behind the Scenes

This was the first time we didn't cook together for our photo shoot. Amanda, out in Wainscott, Long Island, with her family, went it alone, and Sarah's photos came out distinctly different because of the new beach house setting — which, in our opinion, was very cool.

From The Food52 Cookbook by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Copyright 2011 by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow Cookbooks.