Alsatian flatbread.

This New Year’s Eve, like most for me in recent years, will be quiet, not really different than any weekend evening, the chances of me staying awake past 10 pm unlikely. But I will make a spritz! And homemade ranch dip or maybe Ina’s baked fontina with some pickled crudité on the side. I’ll definitely make some crostini. And likely a big pot of soup. French onion sounds right.

Friends, I’m wishing you all the best for a safe and healthy New Year. I hope you get to spend tomorrow evening with people you love, via Zoom or in person, with lots of good nibbles and cheer by your side as you count down to 2021. It couldn’t come a second too soon. 🎉🎉🎉🎉

Below you will find a few of my favorite New Year’s Eve foods. The post is organized as follows:


Two glasses of a Tangerine spritz.

Tangerine Spritz: from David Lebovitz’s Drinking French, this is my latest, favorite discovery. It’s like a spritz meets mimosa, and I find it so festive and refreshing, perfect for ringing in the New Year.

Here are two other ideas:

How to Make Crostini

crostini just baked

If you’re thinking about making some sort of dip this New Year’s Eve, you may want to make a batch of crostini. For its short height — which translates to a short width in crostini form — focaccia is a great bread to use. Here are two easy recipes (this one and this one). Of course, you can use any bread to make crostini. My mother’s peasant bread works well, too. Here’s what you do:

  1. Heat your oven to 450ºF.
  2. Slice your bread 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Transfer to a sheet pan.
  3. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Season lightly with sea salt.
  4. Transfer pan to the oven and toast for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden.

Serve with cheese, soup, or any of the dips below:


Spicy Cashew Dip with Pickled Crudité

A platter of crudités with spicy cashew dip.

This spicy cashew dip recipe, found in this charred broccoli chopped salad post, is addictive. There’s a small amount of fish sauce in it, which gives it a funk, evoking Caesar, but the flavor is more complex: there’s spice from the hefty amount of crushed red pepper flakes, a sharpness from the high ratio of rice vinegar to oil, and a nice bite from a clove of garlic. The cashews make it silky smooth.

I love serving it with this pickled crudité.

Cheesy Goodness

Baked Camembert

Several years ago, I was flipping through my Martha Stewart Hors D’oeuvres Handbook and landed on the baked camembert recipe. It’s so simple it feels like cheating but it’s kind of delicious, and if you are pressed for time, it takes no effort.

You need:

  • One 8-ounce round Camembert cheese, in its wooden container, any paper labels from the front or sides removed

Here’s what you do:

  1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Unwrap the cheese and return it to its box, discarding the wrapping.
  3. Return the lid to the box and place the box on a sheet pan.
  4. Bake until the cheese is completely soft on the inside, about 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a work surface, and, if you wish, use a serrated knife to slice off the top rind of the cheese.
  6. Serve with crostini or crackers or bread.


Bready Bites

Alsatian flatbread.

Many years ago while working for a Philadelphia catering company, we served an Alsatian flatbread topped with gorgonzola and pears at nearly every holiday party, and it never failed to be the unanimous favorite.

The process is simple: peel and thinly slice a few pears; then gently sauté them in butter. Meanwhile, melt blue cheese with a little cream; then spread it in a thin, even layer over pizza dough. Top with the sautéed pears; then bake until golden.

This is s perfect, wintry hors d’oeuvre but served aside a salad, I’d call it dinner. I wrote about this for Baking Steel several years ago. Find the recipe there.