I think copper click of azide/alkyne (CuAAC) has become incredibly important. You see triazoles everywhere. Its in both medicinal chemistry, and used in materials science.
Its very easy to do as well, you can buy a relatively easy to handle azide like benzyl azide, and various propargyl alcohol/esters and the do the classic CuSO4, ascorbic acid, water and tert butanol and get a true click reaction. Works in a scint vial. Purification is just LL separation and evaporation. You can look for the loss of azide and alkyne by FTIR, very distinctive peaks.
Its 20 years old but "recent" is relative in chemistry :-P.
You could also make thiol-ene gels as a bit of materials science. Run it as a photochemistry experiment, you can use sunlight!
In terms of some really novel reactions at a higher level, I think the usage of aryl fluorosulfates for carbon-carbon bond formation is pretty unique and new. Fluorosulfates and related compounds also undergo a fascinating reactivity blend with various nucleophiles depending on conditions.https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.orglett.5b00654
(just one small example, google fluorosulfates and youll see plenty more)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ange.201611048
reactivity of SOF4 type materials. The reactivity of nucleophiles with plain fluorosulfates is interesting too.