Long Reads

The Top 10 Genius Recipes of All Time

April  8, 2015

Every week—often with your help—Food52's Executive Editor Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that are nothing short of genius.

Today: The 10 Genius Recipes you've loved most (ever!).

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With the Genius Recipes cookbook on store shelves, it's a fitting moment to look back at the all-time most popular recipes in the series. Sure, it's been nearly four years since the column launched and there have been 190 of these puppies, but when it comes to recipes you (and we) turn to again and again, these are tops.

All 10 of these recipes, naturally, are in the book (which Alex Guarnaschelli called "the greatest of greatest hits cookbook" and I wished I could kiss her through the Instagram screen), along with other well-loved classics from the column and 50 recipes that are brand-new to the series. If you're new to the Genius tribe, these 10 are a great place to start—collect them all! You'll be currying avocado and putting whipped cream on asparagus before you know it.

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter


Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup


Alice Waters' Ratatouille


Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi's Basic Hummus


Russ Parsons' Dry-Brined Turkey (a.k.a. The Judy Bird)


Hervé This' Chocolate Mousse


Rao's Meatballs


Northern Spy's Kale Salad


Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole


Alon Shaya's Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Whipped Goat Cheese

Tell me: Which Genius Recipes do you think should have made the top 10?

Photos by James Ransom


Order Now

The Genius Desserts cookbook is here! With more than 100 of the most beloved and talked-about desserts of our time (and the hidden gems soon to join their ranks) this book will make you a local legend, and a smarter baker to boot.

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Maggie September 17, 2016
Vegan chocolate chip cookies!
sarah September 16, 2016
Ina has a pasta recipe where you take cherry tomatoes and marinate them in olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and s+p for hours. Then toss angel hair pasta in the mix, sprinkle with parmesan, and you're done. And the flavor is SO good that you wonder why in the world you never thought of it yourself. (Summer Garden Pasta, from her At Home cookbook - the pink one).
Lisa W. September 16, 2016
The blondies. Everyone loves them. It is a go to for me, especially if there's a time crunch. I weigh the brown sugar on top of the butter, set it on low to melt while the oven heats, & I weigh up the other ingredients, as well as chop the pecans. Once the butter/sugar mixture cools, I mix it all right up in the pot. So much to love about this recipe.
Ruth J. September 16, 2016
Julia Child's rice and zucchini casserole that uses the drained water from the zucchini is awesome and delicious and yes, Genius!
Janice T. September 16, 2016
How could you omit the INCREDIBLE Orange and Almond cake?
J September 16, 2016
What is the recipe? Please!
EO August 25, 2016
World Peace Cookies. Along with Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce, my top and most often made Genius recipe.
Upsidedownpineapple August 25, 2016
Richard Olney's Chicken Gratin is my absolute favorite, it's beautiful when done with a plump corn fed chicken. Decadent and delightful!
702551 August 2, 2016
The Paul Bertolli version of ratatouille from the earlier "Chez Panisse Cooking" is better than Waters' later version which is really just has a bunch of shortcuts. Bertolli was Waters' best chef de cuisine and a superb writer.

Bertolli bakes his eggplant rather than sauteing it to avoid excessive oil absorption; this is classic Bertolli attention to detail. In the recipe headnote, Bertolli correctly states that the recipe is simply a sequence of very simple steps.

Personally, I would omit the olives and capers that Bertolli calls for in his version but I would not hesitate to eat his version if served to me.
snobird39 June 1, 2015
My favorite Genius recipe is the English porridge with roasted applesauce. Yum Yum
SophieL June 1, 2015
My favorite Genius Recipe is Nancy Silverton's Whipped Cream (adding sour cream). It's hardly a recipe but it is truly genius - because it really works! - and I am so glad it made it into the cookbook. I have been printing out all the Genius Recipes through the years and now they're all in one place.
J April 13, 2015
Please tell me when this book may be available in large print ,,,
witloof April 13, 2015
Amanda's mother's peach tart! It takes five minutes to put together and is incredibly delicious!
liz May 12, 2015
I totally agree! Three cheers for the best and easiest tart ever!
thirdfloorkitchen April 12, 2015
Nigella Lawson's Dense Chocolate Loaf.

By the way, I love the new book. There is one error I spotted, however. The brisket recipe in my copy calls for a 16-pound piece rather than the 6-pound piece noted on the original recipe.
Author Comment
Kristen M. April 12, 2015
Oh no -- thank you for letting us know. We'll make sure to get this corrected in any future printings and try to get the word out about the error.
Maggie September 17, 2016
Anything that woman touches is pure sex lol Love her!
rider5 April 12, 2015
Ian Knauer's Sticky Balsamic Ribs. Definitely GENIUS!
julie April 12, 2015
Toro Bravos radicchio salad. Beautiful simple and spectacular flavor. My first genius recipe and still my all time fav.
Rebeccaf April 12, 2015
The Genius Spaghetti Bolognese is a definite keeper and should be included. Best spaghetti I've ever had. And my 19-year old son loves it, too. Beware, though, this is not your traditional, Italian style sauce. It's like the French/Belgian bistro style spaghetti I ate while living in Europe. It's a staple in our household.
sparkles April 12, 2015
Alice medrich's brownies
Valerie V. April 12, 2015
I was so excited when the book arrived. I sat down with my post-it's to mark the recipes I want to make. Soon I was out of post-its. I should have marked the ones I didn't want to make--virtually none. This is going to top of my must have cookbook list. If you learn just a handful of these recipes you will be on your way to genius cooking.
Carla April 12, 2015
Definitely the granola....we never ever get tired of that. It's also our go to travel snack!!!
Liz C. September 16, 2016
Yes!! My all-time favourite granola recipe.
Lindsay F. April 12, 2015
Without question the recipe for Tomato Water Pasta by Michael Ruhlman and Martha Stewart's One Pan Pasta. Simple, fresh and delicious - the epitome of late summer cooking!