The 16 Dishes We're Most Excited to Cook This January

Bring on collard greens salads, broiled grapefruit, and Israeli-baked sweet potatoes

After Thanksgiving's turkey and pie, Hanukkah's fried potatoes, Christmas's roast ham, and New Year's Eve's Champagne and endless snacks, we're ready for foods that are just a tad lighter. But you won't catch us depriving ourselves—you'll find us with these 17 dishes, from a Senegalese collard greens salad to rum-broiled grapefruit, that prove that you don't need sticks of butter or cups of cream to make a dish you're excited to eat.

Umbrian Vegetable Soup (Zuppa di Verdure all'Agliata)

Umbrian Vegetable Soup (Zuppa di Verdure all'Agliata)
Unlike a classic slow-cooked minestrone, the vegetables are cooked quickly to preserve their bright flavor.Joseph De Leo
Breakfast Salad

Breakfast Salad

Bacon and eggs get the salad treatment complete with a zingy espresso vinaigrette and toasty croutons for crunch.Farideh Sadeghin

Shredded Collard Green Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Collard Green Salad, Senegalese Thanksgiving
The flavor of raw collard greens combines perfectly with tender roasted sweet potatoes and tangy, rich goat cheese in this hearty starter. Get the recipe for Shredded Collard Green Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cashews »Ryan Liebe
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

Whole cauliflower is quartered and roasted with paprika, turmeric, and jalapeño in this wintry side dish. Get the recipe for Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini »Neal Santos
rum-broiled grapefruit

Rum-Broiled Grapefruit

Rich dark rum is brushed over grapefruit halves, which are then sprinkled with sugar and cayenne pepper before broiling.Ingalls Photography

Watercress with Spicy Chile and Sesame Vinaigrette

Watercress with Spicy Chile and Sesame Vinaigrette
Peppery watercress, nutty sesame seeds, and earthy Korean chile flakes are brought together with an easy lemon vinaigrette in this wonderful cold-weather salad. Get the recipe for Watercress with Spicy Chile and Sesame Vinaigrette »Justin Walker
Soba Noodles with Wasabi and Shiitake Mushrooms

Soba Noodles with Wasabi and Shiitake Mushrooms

In Japan, China, and many other Asian countries, tradition calls for eating long noodles, which signify longevity, on New Year's Day. In this simple noodle dish, crisp wasabi stalks add texture, while the tender, chewy leaves are a complex substitute for bitter greens.Helen Rosner

"CREAMED" COLLARD GREENS WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND CHILE

Senegalese Thanksgiving, Collard Greens
Greens laced with freshly ground peanut butter and fermented seafood for a funky umami kick is a common one-pot dish in West Africa.Ryan Liebe
Korean Soba Salad

Korean Cold Buckwheat Noodles

A medley of thinly sliced vegetables is piled up with a mound of cold buckwheat noodles. Get the recipe for Korean Cold Buckwheat Noodles »Matt Taylor-Gross

Apple and Kale Salad with Black Sesame and Cashews

Apple and Kale Salad with Black Sesame and Cashews
Crunchy cashews coated with maple syrup and sesame seeds, and a boldly piquant dressing of Shanxi vinegar, add texture and verve to the classic kale salad.Matt Taylor-Gross

CHICKPEA AND PASTA SOUP

Full of vegetables, chickpeas, and pasta, this soup thickens as it stands, transforming into a thick stew.
Graham Cookies

GRAHAM AND BROWN SUGAR COOKIES WITH HACHIYA PERSIMMONS AND CANDIED GINGER

Chewy cookies made with brown sugar and graham flour and strips of candied ginger play background roles in this simple dessert showcasing the Hachiya persimmon’s floral aroma and flavor.Matt Taylor-Gross
Roasted Chicken with Harissa

Roasted Chicken with Harissa

An earthy North African Aleppo pepper paste—perfumed with cumin, caraway, and coriander—flavors this juicy roast chicken from chef Michael Solomonov. Get the recipe for Roasted Chicken with Harissa »Matt Taylor-Gross

Duck Borscht with Fermented Tomato Sauce

Duck Borscht with Fermented Tomato Sauce
This soup combines a whole duck, beet greens, and cabbage in a fizzy fermented tomato sauce—a wonderful alternative when fresh tomatoes aren't in season.Justin Walker
Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh

Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh

Slow roasting enhances the potatoes natural sweetness, making this a standout side dish or vegetarian entrée. Garlicky labneh and quick trip under the broiler add tang and smokiness. Get the recipe for Slow-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Labneh »Neal Santos

Honey-and-Butter-Baked Pears with Cold Cream

Honey-and-Butter Baked Pears with Cold Cream
These sticky, caramelized pears get served warm with a glug of fresh chilled cream for a richly-flavored variation on poached pears. Get the recipe for Honey-and-Butter-Baked Pears with Cold Cream »Anders Schonnemann