It’s that time of year where I gather the 10 least-clicked Genius Recipes and try, one last time, to explain why they deserve more love.
This year, once again, the underdog recipes are dominated by healthier types—a new crop of salads, a feisty kale side, and a cake that’s bright orange with carrots. But a good deal more were simply miscalculations on my part—a bad headline, or an iffy styling choice. I’m sorry recipes, you deserve better! Let’s give this one more try.
Why you didn’t care: That 1-2-3 in the headline was a secret code.
Why you should: Here’s what the code meant: This is a near-instant appetizer made from 3 ingredients you almost definitely already have (Parmesan, olive oil, and a splash of wine).
Why you didn’t care: You’ve got your Halloween sweets pretty well covered by Tootsie Pops.
Why you should: Just look at it! Also, this simple, cozy cake is a staple in homes across Brazil, with most of its sweetness, moisture, and color coming from carrots (and all of its ease coming from the blender).
Why you didn’t care: Some of you thought this wasn’t granola at all, but rather fried chicken (do you see it?).
Why you should: If you love stumbling on the good, crispy clusters in your granola, this savvy trick means you can make those clumps as big and prolific as you want.
Why you didn’t care: Treat it like lasagna? That sounds hard!
Why you should: This soup is like getting a whole potful of the best parts of French onion soup—maybe I should have led with that instead. (p.s. I make this soup all the time.)
Why you didn’t care: The recipe contained many sub-recipes and was about 3 feet long. Also, some of you couldn’t abide that all the dark meat goes into the gravy.
Why you should: Following this single mega-recipe basically means the bulk of your Thanksgiving dinner is done ahead of time. (And you do realize you still get the dark meat, right? It’s just deliciously braised and in a pitcher instead of on a platter.)
Why you didn’t care: Newfangled isn’t the most appealing word, I suppose.
Why you should: But Caesar is! The dressing is sort of a light, creamy Caesar meets herby Green Goddess and comes together in seconds in the food processor. Plus, the salad comes with bonus 1-ingredient cheese crisps—you might never go back to croutons.
Why you didn’t care: “Radish Salad” isn’t enough to woo you, it seems.
Why you should: Here’s what was missing from that description: A spicy kimchi dressing. Another sultry sesame one. Plus a few tricks for making pretty much any salad more exciting.
Why you didn’t care: I thought the brilliance implied by the name Ottolenghi alone could carry any story, but the first headline gave way too much away: Ottolenghi Puts Onion Dip in His Kale, and It’s Genius.
Why you should: Well, it is! And either part alone—the burnt green onion dip and the quick-cooked, garlicky-spicy kale—is worth making, even if you don’t go for the Ottolenghi-esque combination.
Why you didn’t care: This was probably too focused on Valentine’s Day (and tears).
Why you should: It should have leaned more into the fact that it’s a luxurious yet speedy, one-skillet steak dinner. With crispy potatoes. And some bright greens to straighten it all out. You should pocket this menu for any night of the year, as I have.
Why you didn’t care: Psych! This isn’t a recipe!
Why you should: We were dabbling in what a Genius approach to travel would look like, and Aleksandra Crapanzano (author of The London Cookbook) was the perfect genius for the job.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.