Every week—often with your help—Food52 creative director Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that are nothing short of genius.
With Food52 hitting 10 years old, it's a fitting moment to look back at the all-time most popular recipes in Genius Recipes' history. It's been eight whole years since the column launched (I like to think of Genius as Food52's spunky kid sister) and there have been 354 of these puppies—but when it comes to recipes you (and we) turn to again and again, these are tops.
At Ovenly's bake shops, founders Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin barely even advertise that they're vegan—because that's just a happy side effect of this easily-stirred-together, gooey wonder cookie. Everyone, vegan or no, loves them.
With this smart recipe from our co-founder Amanda Hesser's mother Judy, you can stick some chicken in a salty ice bath in the morning and come home from work to finish off the best fried chicken you can make—without actually frying (fun fact: the recipe only calls for two tablespoons of butter).
Unlike some traditional ratatouilles that call for cooking each vegetable separately (I wouldn't do that to you!) or layered, fancypants versions you may have seen at the movies, this one fusses only where it needs to fuss (over the eggplant).
The sweet-salty twist on a classic North Carolina lemon pie that's as lazy and beachy as summer should be—and Bill Smith has started calling "that stupid pie" because it seems like it's all anyone wants to talk about.
This recipe sounds like it should be terrible, frankly—it's made from caulflower, onion, and a whole lot of water. (Which is why I never would have found it without a tip from Simran and Stacie at A Little Yumminess.) But Paul Bertolli knows exactly how to make a vegetable become the best it can be, letting the natural pectin in cauliflower do the work, whipping up creamy and smooth as all get out.
This is the ultra-smooth hummus that got a lot more people making their own hummus, thanks to this coup: Most from-scratch hummus recipes require simmering dried chickpeas for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Ottolenghi and Tamimi's are done in 20 to 40 minutes. (Without having to peel the chickpeas by hand.)
This is the perfect olive oil cake, which will ruin you for all others—and it only requires whisking a few things together. (No whipping, folding, or creaming needed when loosey-goosey olive oil is your star.) At Maialino, they also serve it in muffin form, and sometimes turn it into a birthday cake, layered with mascarpone buttercream. Either way, bonus points if you want to make Michelle Polzine's Slow-Roasted Strawberries you can see here (as buddied up in Genius Desserts).
Make a batch of these on Sunday and you'll have the most thrilling breakfast-on-the-go / lunch perker-upper / late-night snack just chilling in your fridge all week. Or do as Christina Tosi says: "These eggs can be used in a thousand different ways: They are perfect on their own as a snack, or on an English muffin (eggs Benny setup), in pasta, or cut up and mixed into a salad."
This pasta cooks entirely in one pan (without boiling water first) and makes its own sauce, all in about 9 minutes. For more on the story behind this internet-famous pasta (and how it came from a visit to the back of a restaurant in a tiny town in Italy, a few glasses of wine deep)—we have that, too.
This is the recipe that started it all—in three ingredients, you can change the way you think about making pasta sauce forever. (Then tell all your friends about it.)
Tell us: Which Genius Recipes do you think should have made the top 10?
This article has been updated from an earlier version in 2015 to commemorate Food52's 10th anniversary (and to give some of the newer recipes a chance to shine!).
Photos by James Ransom
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.
I'm an ex-economist, ex-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."