This modern make-ahead brunch menu gets playful with traditional New Year's foods and is packed with showstopping recipes.

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Start planning for a fun and modern New Year's brunch with this delicious (and mostly make-ahead) menu that your entire family will enjoy. Depending on where you grew up or the culture you were raised in, there might be non-negotiable foods to eat at the start of the New Year. And while we have nothing against a celebratory supper of pork and sauerkraut or black-eyed peas, they might not be the showstoppers you want to whip up for a meal to impress. That's why we've put together this brunch menu that's perfect for New Year's Day. It's a great way to get creative and a little playful with traditions and superstitions by way of the food you serve. Read on to discover why this downright epic brunch menu will please both the traditionalists and the modern palettes at your table this year.

carrot juice mimosas
Credit: Anson Smart

Carrot Juice Mimosas

In a cheeky nod to the health craze that often comes on or around January 1st, offer your guests a Carrot Juice Mimosa, pictured above. Earthy-sweet carrot juice goes surprisingly well with a topper of bright, crisp sparkling wine.

Smoked-Salmon Flatbread with Pickled Beet
Credit: Jenny Huang

Smoked Salmon Flatbread with Pickled Beet

This Smoked Salmon Flatbread with Pickled Beet will get appetites going (and anchor a welcome cocktail so that it won't go straight to your guests' heads). In many cultures, it is considered good luck to eat fish on New Year's because they symbolize abundance (in the way that they tend to swim in large schools). Who are we to argue with tradition? Especially when it is in the form of this fun and creative flatbread recipe that was inspired by bagel-and-lox.

The pickled beets can be made the day before and refrigerated; the flatbread recipe can be made in the morning up through step two; cover and refrigerate it until about 40 minutes before the guests are slated to arrive, then proceed with the final step of the recipe.

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Credit: John Kernick

Citrus Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

This bright and refreshing Citrus Salad with Pomegranate Seeds will complement heavier items on offer since its natural acidity will cut through the richness and perk up palettes. This winter recipe is a winner because it highlights in-season produce like mixed citrus fruits and pomegranate—both considered good luck charms for the start of the year that will be extra-affordable and extra-sweet.

Do yourself a big favor and make this entire recipe the day before; the quality won't suffer, and it'll save your sanity the morning of by not needing to meticulously de-seed a pomegranate minutes before your friends are expected.

cut spanish tortilla
Credit: John Kernick

Tortilla Espanola

This Tortilla Espanola is a five-ingredient egg dish that is somehow even more delicious when it is made ahead of time and served at room temperature; it's also vegetarian and naturally gluten-free, making it an all-around crowd-pleaser.

Serve it as the main event with a crisp salad alongside—we're partial to this simple Frisée Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. And if you want to make this dish extra-special for the holiday, top slices of the tortilla with a dollop of créme fraîche and a spoonful of caviar before serving.

Pastry Wreath with Orange-Rum Cream
Credit: Jonny Valiant

Pastry Wreath with Orange-Rum Cream

Serving a ring-shaped dessert at New Year's is customary in many countries, as it symbolizes the year coming full circle. Sure, you could go buy a dozen donuts (we won't judge), or make a Bundt cake for a foolproof stunner. But if you're feeling ambitious, why not give this epic Pastry Wreath with Orange-Rum Cream a shot?

When you break out the rum to make this dessert, don't forget to break down the recipe into segments based on the helpful make-ahead instructions that can be found in the Cook's Notes section of the recipe.

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