James Beard may not be a household name like Julia Child, but by the time he died in 1985 at age 81, Beard had written more than 30 books. He coined the term “American cuisine,” believing passionately that we need look no further than our backyards for great food.
For disbelievers, the sight of the 300-pound Beard happily mixing meat loaf with his hands was all they needed to roll up their sleeves and start cooking. When Beard died, his Greenwich Village townhouse became the home of a foundation in his name.
The foundation honors chefs and cookbooks with annual James Beard awards, and today chefs clamor to cook at the Beard House. Here, we share Beard's Gratin of Greens recipe—a delightful little dish ideal for the season.—Jean Kressy