Stock Your Kitchen with Genius

December 26, 2012

Every week -- often with your help -- FOOD52's Senior Editor Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that are nothing short of genius.

It's Resolution Week at Food52, and we're looking ahead to how we want to run our kitchens, 2013-style.

Today: Eat better in 2013 with a fridge full of genius.

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kale salad

I've been cooking ahead, and I'm pretty proud about it -- but I want to do more. Inspired by our new column Halfway to Dinner and the coming new year, I've started roasting all my greenmarket vegetables at once. Simmering triple batches of farro, or lentils, or potatoes. Washing and slicing a whole bunch of kale, instead of one salad's worth -- to make for faster future meals and show-offy lunches to take to the office.

It sounds rather drab and unspontaneous, but surprisingly, it's the opposite: I find this means I get out of ruts -- when you have roasted squash or braised brisket sitting there, what's to stop you from putting it in hash? Or tacos? Or anything? Here are 11 wintry Genius base recipes to keep on hand (plus ideas for how to use them) to kick off a better-stocked and more lively kitchen come 2013.

Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup

cauliflower soup

• Swirl in new flavors -- like paprika, or gremolata. Add rye or olive croutons. Or just eat it the same, day after day.

Nekisia Davis' Olive Oil and Maple Granola


• Snack by fistful. Cereal. Ice cream topping, preferably cinnamon.

Nach Waxman's Brisket of Beef


• Cold brisket sandwich (with pickles). Warmed brisket and onions on mashed sweet potatoes. Tacos!

Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock's Sherried Shrimp Paste

shrimp paste

• Snack (on crackers or toasts), tea sandwiches, grits.

Roy Finamore's Broccoli Cooked Forever

broccoli cooked forever

• Stir into pasta, whole grains, or beans. Pile on crostini. Turn into soup.

Barbara Kafka's Simplest Roast Chicken

roast chicken

• Sandwiches (pulled or sliced), salads, stoup.

Northern Spy's Kale Salad

kale salad

• Prep extra of all the components, then upcycle them through the week.

Paula Wolfert's Herb Jam with Olives and Lemon

herb jam

• With soft scrambled eggs. Dressing for roasted carrots. Lamb side.

Melissa Clark's Really Easy Duck Confit

duck confit

• Hash. Dark, feisty salads with cress and arugula. Cassoulet.

Judy Rodgers' Roasted Applesauce

roasted applesauce

• Pork side. Charlottes. Grilled cheese. Cake.

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

tomato sauce

Parmesan. Lasagna. Manicotti. Braciole.

Got a genius recipe to share -- from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].



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From our new podcast network, The Genius Recipe Tapes is lifelong Genius hunter Kristen Miglore’s 10-year-strong column in audio form, featuring all the uncut gems from the weekly column and video series. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss out.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. 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."

1 Comment

Judith Q. January 6, 2013
Hello to all you Young ones...Me 69, Italian , Good to see you are catching on... our generation have been doing your "genius" thing all our lives...and it works wonderfully. Keep up the very good Kitchen/cooking you are teaching others.
Love and happy New year,