Cookbook Club

The 10 Genius Vegetable Dishes to Add to Your Regular Rotation

December  8, 2017

All throughout December, our Cookbook Club is keeping it close to home, cooking through Food52 Creative Director Kristen Miglore's Genius Recipes.

With more than 100 foolproof recipes from food luminaries like Julia Child, Nigella Lawson, and Michael Ruhlman, it was hard to guess what Club members might gravitate toward first—it turns out Genius recipes make it especially easy to eat your vegetables. Here are ten of the dishes they're hooked on:

Brussels Sprouts & Kale

Photo by Heather Nabers West
Photo by Davy Darnton

You know the feeling when you successfully recreate a restaurant-level meal at home? You can get that feeling all of the time when you're cooking through Genius Recipes, just like Heather Nabers West did with Momofuku's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette:

There was a period of time where we were eating brussels sprouts all. the. time. So much that eventually, I began to despise them. That changed in April after dinner at Momofuku CCDC. We had these with our ramen they were definitely the highlight of the dinner! I was SO excited when I bought this book and saw this recipe included!

Multiple members also made Northern Spy's Kale Salad, of which Nanda Garber‎ exclaims:

I have made this recipe countless times, it's one of my all-time favorites from Food52 (which is saying a lot)!


Photo by Sarah Stallings
Photo by Karen Shepherd-Buchanan

Potatoes are an especially cozy food in the wintertime, but comfort is taken to a new level in Miglore's book as the humble tuber is dressed up in an intriguing soup and a stunner of a side dish. Our members explain.

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Sarah Stallings‎ says:

Anya von Bremzen's Potato Soup with Fried Almonds is definitely one of my favorite Genius recipes—it’s hearty and rich, with a beautiful savory-saffron flavor. Love the fried almonds/garlic/sherry vinegar mixture added to finish the soup. It's especially good for winter with homemade chicken broth.

And of Francis Mallmann's Potato Dominoes, Karin O. Shepherd-Buchanan shares:

I have never been so excited about potatoes in my life. Crazy delicious, especially if you like crispy bits.

Asparagus & Green Beans

Photo by Mallory Short
Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Club members remind us how easily Genius recipes become go-to standards, like Penelope Casa's Garlic Green Beans are for Mallory Short‎:

The Garlic Green Beans are exactly how I like my green beans and I will probably only use this recipe from now on.

But the recipes and techniques are also ripe for adaptation, as Tom Hirschfeld shows with substitution in Nobu's Fried Asparagus in Miso Dressing‎:

I don’t post a lot on here but seeing Kristen Miglore‘s Genius Recipes I have too. I would like to think Kristen knows how strongly I feel about her book and the group of recipes she chose to include. I have made so many of them so many times and many are family favorites at our table. How many of the recipes have become the darlings of the Internet? I know Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce sure has. My favorites, though, have to be the Fried Asparagus in Miso Dressing (which I often sub in whatever is on hand-green beans, yard long beans), the Touch-of-Grace Biscuits, Potato Dominoes, Russ Parson’s Dry-Brined Turkey—I could go on and on.


Photo by Joy Huang
Photo by Melissa Boyle Hehmann‎

What does Genius cauliflower look like? A show-stopping main dish, whether sliced or left whole.

Of Dan Barber's Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Purée, Joy Huang‎ says:

I’m pretty excited to be going through this book this month because some of my favorite recipes are in there, including this one! I love how such a simple recipe can produce such a dramatic composition.

Of Alon Shaya's Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Whipped Goat Cheese, Sandra Hickman Simmons‎ shares:

Willie & I had this dish at Domenica in New Orleans maybe 3 years ago. I liked the cheese at Domenica better but somehow I liked the cauliflower better at home! I know! Shocker! But I'm so glad because I'll make this again and again!

Mushrooms & (Canned) Tomatoes

Photo by Kristen Schurman‎
Photo by Elizabeth Ann

And luckily, a number of Genius recipes are very weeknight-friendly, as Kristen Schurman points out:

Made [Deb Perelman's] Mushroom Bourguignon tonight and it was fantastic! Served it over egg noodles with sour cream and chives as suggested, and the flavors worked perfectly. The recipe was easy to follow and came together in under an hour, so this is probably the best weeknight Bourguignon you can make!

And even the easiest ones taste much more involved than they actually are, as Jane Tipermas experienced with Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion:

Such a simple, and for lack of a better word, Genius, recipe. Beyond easy to make, but with rich, complex flavors that make it taste like much more effort was put into it.

New to the Club? Head here for all the details on how to participate and what's ahead for the group.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.