Our team invites good fortune with a lucky ingredient and a lively salad.

By Claire Sullivan
December 11, 2020
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black‑eyed‑pea salad with celery
Credit: Chris Simpson

Looking for ways to become a more confident cook at home? Our food editors are here to help. Each week, we shine a spotlight on the exciting things happening in the Martha Stewart test kitchen. Our editors will share their best cooking tips, favorite products, new ideas, and more in our weekly series, Out of the Kitchen.

When December winds down, our food editors look ahead with optimism: They will welcome the new year with an auspicious ingredient, and they get energized for January with a powerhouse salad. Serve one of these recipes on New Year's Eve and dig into the other on January 1, as is our plan to start the year on a vibrant, healthy footing.

The Best of Luck

We're game to try anything that promises good fortune in 2021—and that includes embracing the southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. Senior food editor Lauryn Tyrell serves them stewed with cabbage cooked in bacon fat, while assistant food editor Riley Wofford simmers them with tomatoes and eggs (à la shakshuka). For a really fresh start, scoop up this easy, zesty side dish from Shira Bocar, food editor at large, that takes black-eyed peas into fresh, crunchy territory.

winter caprese salad topped with chives
Credit: Chris Simpson

Eternal Sunshine

Who doesn't love a caprese salad? But outside of summer it can be pale and tasteless. It needs the most flavorful tomatoes and plenty of basil, neither of which are readily available in the cold months. Luckily for us, Lauryn, who's a huge caprese fan, rethought the salad for winter, adding juicy citrus to the mix to create a new colorful splash. "The fruit really wakes up the mozzarella and tomatoes with a pop of sweetness," says Lauryn. "You don't usually see citrus and tomatoes together, because they're in peak season at different times. But with great hothouse tomatoes available, you can enjoy this dish year-round." She uses sherry vinegar (in lieu of the usual balsamic vinegar) like La Posada ($8.99, supermarketitaly.com), then finishes the dish with a sprinkle of chopped chives (instead of the usual basil) to bring savory notes to balance the sweetness of the tangerines in the salad. And if tangerines aren't available, Lauryn says, "Clementines, mandarin oranges, and satsumas all make lip-smacking stand-ins."

Food styling by Laura Rege; prop styling by Suzie Myers.

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