Marinated Vegetable and Herb Salad. Peter D'Aprix
Our food photography process is pretty straightforward—we rummage through our prop closet to find the prettiest plates and silverware to style the photo, and we take the picture. Our goal: make the food look as delicious and evocative as possible. But if you dive into SAVEUR’s 21-year-old archive of recipes, it’s inevitable you’ll come across one that looks…slightly less appealing. Maybe there’s a drizzle of sauce that, on reflection, shouldn’t have been drizzled just so. Sometimes a white asparagus isn’t just a white asparagus.
So after combing through our database of 6,000 recipes, here are our 16 favorite ugly ducklings. They’ve been rigorously tested by our kitchen team, and have the potential to be beautiful. Just give them some love.
This centuries-old dish was a favorite of Venetian sailors—frying the fish and marinating it in olive oil and vinegar meant it could last for weeks, and the vitamin C in the onions offered protection against scurvy.
This dish is traditionally made with the blood sausage called botifarra negra–it is unavailable in the U.S., but morcilla may be substituted.
Lima Bean Soup
This simple soup only calls for a few ingredients, letting the flavor of lima beans shine.
Use salted (brine-packed) herring filets for this recipe.
This sweet, festive salad gives off a lot of juice if it sits for a while, so it’s best to assemble it just before serving.
Madame Carter’s Provencal Herb Terrine
Chez Cartet, a small and very traditional Parisian bistro that has been in business since 1936, is renowned for its homemade pates and terrines. We adapted their recipe for this coarse, well-seasoned terrine that was named after the establishment’s founder.
Sicilian Eggplant and Tuna Salad
Eggplant is an extremely popular vegetable in Sicily, used in scores of ways, and sweet-and-sour flavors, as in this salad, are common to the island’s cuisine.
Tom’s Vladivostok Potato Salad
This potato salad—flavored with crabmeat, salmon caviar, and garlic-laced mayonnaise—was created by Tom Hudgins when he lived in the Russian city of Vladivostok.