A mother’s day brunch

May 7, 2009

Mother’s day is around the corner and what could be more wonderful but to make a special meal for your mother? Cooking for loved ones is always a rewarding endeavor but cooking for your mom is especially meaningful – chances are she has cooked many meals in her life! I’m sure that having a meal cooked just for her is a much appreciated treat.

Here’s a festive and delicious brunch that’s also easy to prepare. In my experience it’s been a hit with adults and kids alike (I’ve tested it on my nieces ages 7 and 10, and not a morsel was left on their plates!) – a real plus when making a meal you want the whole family to enjoy.

This brunch menu was featured in the February 2009 of Rockland Magazine. To read the full feature click on Ladies Who Brunch.

I’ve shot a video of this brunch, with lots of cooking tips so that the recipes come out perfectly and the preparations can go smoothly.

To make the celebration complete, serve it with a lively bubbly or clementine mimosas… Happy mother’s day!

Caramelized Onion Torta with Piquillo Peppers and Manchego

serves 8
active time: 30 min

For the onions

  1. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 large Spanish or Vidalia onions – peeled, quartered and cut crosswise in 1/8” slices
  3. 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  4. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  5. freshly ground pepper to taste

For the torta

  1. 8 large organic eggs – lightly beaten
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 1 cup heavy cream
  4. 6 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  6. 1–16 oz (455gr) jar Piquillo peppers – cut in 1/4” strips (or other fire roasted sweet red peppers)
  7. 8 oz (227gr) Manchego – coarsely grated
  1. 1–10″ non-stick springform pan – lightly buttered and floured

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Step 1: Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the onion slices, toss well and sauté for 10 to 12 minutes until golden, tossing only from time to time. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, toss well and continue sautéing for 1 minute only, until the garlic has released its flavor. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
  3. Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cream, flour, salt and pepper, until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Add the Piquillo peppers, onions and cheese and stir until just incorporated.
  4. Step 3: Pour the egg mixture into the prepared mold. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes before un-molding.
  5. Step 4: Remove sides of mold and transfer the torta unto a serving platter. Cut in wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.
  6. Cook’s note: The torta can be made up to 6 hours ahead, and keep at room temperature in its mold. Before serving, preheat oven to 375ºF and bake for 5 to 6 minutes until just warmed. Then proceed with Step 4.

torta, eggs, piquillo peppers

Pan–Roasted Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes with Cured Olives

serves 4
active time: 20 min

  1. 1 3/4 lbs (794gr) baby Yukon gold potatoes – left whole and unpeeled
  2. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 cup pitted cured olives
  5. 2 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  7. freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Step 1: Place the potatoes in a medium heavy bottom soup pot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes by 2”. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, fast simmer uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes until they are tender. Drain and let cool for a few minutes.
  2. Cook’s note: The potatoes and be cooked up to 24 hours ahead, and refrigerated until ready to use.
  3. Step 2: Cut the potatoes in 1” pieces lengthwise. Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add the olive oil, and potatoes. Toss well, spread in a single layer and sauté undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Toss the potatoes and continue sautéing undisturbed for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. If needed repeat the process until the potatoes are golden brown on all sides. Add the olives, garlic, salt and pepper, toss again and sauté for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until garlic has softened but not browned. Remove from heat, transfer to a platter and serve as a side dish.
  4. Cook’s note: For 8 servings, double the recipe and use two separate pans to sauté the potatoes.

side vegetable, potatoes, cured olives

Escarole Hearts and Avocado Salad with Meyer Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette and Toasted Pine Nuts

serves 8
active time: 30 min

For the vinaigrette

  1. 1 teaspoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest (or regular lemon zest)
  2. 3 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (or 1 tablespoon regular lemon juice)
  3. 1 shallot – skinned and finely chopped
  4. 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  6. freshly ground pepper to taste

For the salad

  1. 2 medium escarole – though outer leaves removed (save for another recipe), tender green leaves and yellow leaves thoroughly rinsed, spun dry and torn in 1” to 2” pieces
  2. 1 large, ripe but firm avocado – halved, pitted, skinned and cut in 1/4” slices
  1. 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (see cook’s note)

  1. Step 1: To make the vinaigrette – Place the lemon zest, lemon juice, shallot, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Step 2: In a large bowl toss the escarole with half the vinaigrette. Place the salad in a large serving bowl or divide in individual bowls. Top with the avocado slices. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts. Drizzle with the balance of the vinaigrette. Finish with freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
  3. Cook’s note: To toast the pine nuts, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pine nuts and toss constantly until pale golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature before using in the recipe.

salad, escarole, avocado

Pan-Fried Rosemary-Infused Oil

makes 1/3 cup
active time: 10 min

  1. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 to 3 fresh rosemary sprigs – leaves removed from stems

  1. Heat a small frying pan to medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the rosemary. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently, until the rosemary becomes pale and crisp. Transfer to a small bowl and add the balance of the olive oil. Set aside to cool. Use as a dip for a crusty loaf of bread.
  2. Cook’s note: Refrigerate up to 1 week.

For many more recipes (and videos!), check out Food & Style Club!

Free 30-day trial. No credit card required.

Food & Style Club is Viviane’s new interactive, multimedia cookbook you can make your own. Get exclusive new recipes weekly, add your own recipes, peruse wine notes—even chat directly with Viviane. It’s a cooking class built into every recipe!

condiment, dipping oil, rosemary

Looking for a dessert to serve for your Mother’s Day brunch? How about one of these:
- Crêpes with strawberry compote
- Rhubarb gelato served with Sienese almond cookies
- Apricot compote with Scotch whisky and ice cream
- Chestnut cake with pan-roasted pears and chestnut honey syrup
- Butternut squash–apple cake with ginger streusel

© 2011 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra May 5, 2011 at 9:11 pm

You’ve put together a very impressive menu. This is perfect anytime of the year.


Kate@Diethood May 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm

I am going after that Torta! But I will be dreaming about that tall glass of deliciousness up there! :)


Christy April 15, 2012 at 10:23 am

I am planning a luncheon at my home after my wedding. I have searched the Internet extensively to no avail and then voila! You! Your sense of “Food and Style” is inspirational! Thank you!


Viviane April 15, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Dear Christy, Thank you so much for your wonderful comment (which totally made my day)… And congratulations on your wedding. I wish you and your husband countless years of marital bliss. May your luncheon be joyful and delicious to boot!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: