The food teams at Martha Stewart Living have collectively created three decades’ worth of holiday meals for the magazine—we’re talking hundreds of hors d’oeuvres, too many mains to count, appetizers galore, plus a dizzying array of desserts. For our 30th anniversary issue, a holiday issue to boot, the current crew share the recipes from our archives that they cook again and again when off duty in December.
They also share some of the backstories to these now-classic recipes and what made them perennial favorites instead of other holiday roasts or spectacular desserts. Some of the selects are obvious, like Martha’s almost infamously boozy eggnog. Others deserve to be better known, like the Alastian Potato Pie that has become a tradition. Our editorial director of food, Sarah Carey, says, “Former editor, Heidi Johannsen Stewart created this recipe more than a decade ago, but a more recent alum, Laura Rege, made it into a yearly tradition.”
“When we use a recipe from an old colleague, we always think of them when we make it,” Sarah says. The prime rib recipe, perhaps the quintessential holiday entrée, was developed by Jennifer Aaronson, our former editorial food director, in 2007. “She brought some incredible holiday classics to the table, and such magic to our pages,” says Sarah.
Another former colleague Nora Singley, a longtime chef on The Martha Stewart Show, created the salmon with mint-caper pesto for a 2013 story, and it’s now a must-make holiday recipe for assistant editor Riley Wofford.
Deputy editor Greg Lofts recalls how his all-time favorite holiday entrée came to be: “One of my first freelance assignments for Living was helping Lucinda Scala Quinn, then executive editorial food director, develop a capon recipe for the December 2012 issue. She was a great mentor, and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.”
Ready for dessert? We have options! Greg is all in for a cheesecake Laura developed in 2014. “The juicy, sweet-tart citrus balances the creamy filling. Served cold from the fridge, it’s a refreshing, unexpected dessert to cap off a big feast,” he says.
Take your pick of these greatest hits—some recent, others old (but so, so good)—to make your own unforgettable menu.
Art direction by James Maikowsk; food style by Frances Boswell; prop styling by Tanya Graff.