by guest blogger Martine Bertin-Peterson,
Celebrating Mom on Mother’s Day with brunch or lunch is a time-honored tradition. Unfortunately, snagging a table at a fine dining establishment isn’t always easy, or even desirable. If you want to try a different twist on the celebration, consider a festive — and leisurely — home-cooked meal.
After what seemed like an interminable winter, I crave the bright green colors of spring. Fresh, local asparagus is finally coming to market and there is no better time to incorporate the sweet and tender stalks into your menu. Although we are still weeks away from just-picked local berries and other summer produce, good alternatives are available.
If you’d like to offer Mom a casual brunch, here’s a menu that will please the whole family. The dessert can be prepared the night before for added convenience. Make an early morning run to Crossroads Bake Shop for some buttery croissants and/or a crispy baguette. If the weather is warm, the entire meal can be transported to the patio or to a picnic table in the park.
This second menu is a bit more formal and presents a pretty palette of spring colors. Slow roast salmon filets on a parchment covered baking sheet in a 275°F oven for 15-18 minutes (depending on thickness and how well done you like your fish). The recipe for the zucchini & basil velouté is here in a previous post; the recipes for the potatoes, salad and dessert are below.
8-10 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested
½ cup Parmesan cheese
4 TBSP good quality olive oil
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Grease a 12 cup muffin tin generously with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Combine parsley, garlic, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add sliced potato to the parsley mixture and toss to coat each slice thoroughly.
- Overlap the potato slices, pressing firmly as you go and filling each muffin cup ¾ full.
- Bake potatoes in oven 40 – 45 minutes until edges are browned and centers can be easily pierced with the sharp point of a knife.
- Cut around each potato stack with a knife or spatula to serve.
Pea & Mint Salad
3 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 TBSP olive oil
2 cups frozen peas
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Add olive oil to a small fry pan and sauté the sliced shallots over medium-low flame until soft and translucent.
- Cook frozen peas until just done—don’t overcook! Drain peas in a colander and immediately pour them into a bowl of iced water to stop cooking and to preserve their bright green color. Drain peas again once they have cooled.
- In a medium serving bowl, gently combine peas, shallots (with their cooking oil), chopped mint leaves, lemon juice and zest, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature. Serves 4 as a side.
Raspberry Pots de Creme
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 TBSP rosé wine
1¼ cups heavy cream
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Fresh berries and mint leaves for garnish
- In a food processor, puree the raspberries until they are smooth. (If the seeds bother you, strain the mixture over a fine sieve, pressing to extract as much of the mixture as possible. I don’t mind the seeds and skip this step entirely.) Stir in the wine and set aside.
- In a small pot, bring the cream and sugar to a gentle boil. Continue to boil gently for 3 minutes, all the while whisking constantly to make sure the cream doesn’t boil over. Remove from the heat and allow the cream to cool slightly.
- Whisk the raspberry mixture and lemon juice into the cream until thoroughly combined and pink throughout. Divide the mixture between 4 – 6 wine glasses or small jars.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or preferably, overnight.
- Prior to serving, place a few raspberries and a small mint leaf on top of each glass for garnish.
Martine Bertin-Peterson is the owner of Doylestown-based Goût et Voyage, LLC, a boutique travel and cooking class business. Small group cooking classes feature hands-on instruction in Mediterranean cooking.
In addition to the popular “Taste of Provence” small group gourmet vacations, Goût et Voyage will offer a “Taste of Tuscany & Italy” trip in 2018. For more information about the classes and trips visit: www.goutetvoyage.com