Personally I find Gnome’s `Recent documents` feature quit annoying. In earlier versions I always disabled it by doing this:
rm ~/.recently-used.xbel -Rf; mkdir ~/.recently-used.xbel -p;
Unfortunately that didn’t work anymore… After reading how to Clear/Prevent Recent Documents under Files & Folders in Ubuntu Unity I thought I found a solution, but I didn’t. This piece of magic, on the contrary, did!
echo 'gtk-recent-files-max-age=0' >> ~/.gtkrc-2.0;