Mother’s Day Menu: Dishes To Help Make Mom’s Day

Mother’s Day is nearly here. No doubt many of you plan to celebrate it on Sunday. To help with the festivities, I’ve compiled some favorite recipes that you could prepare for mom. They’ll appeal to  veggie lovers, meat and seafood lovers, and moms with a sweet tooth. Lemon Halibut with Caper Sauce

Appetizer

Black Fig and Olive Spread Fig and black olive spread This comes from our friend Marie Simmons, who’s written a cookbook devoted to figs: Fig Heaven (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2004). The spread combines dried figs, pitted Kalmata olives, crushed fennel seeds, fresh garlic, and grated orange zest. It comes together with a good extra virgin olive oil. Marie recommends serving this spread on crostini – say with a little crumbled feta … or blue cheese. Alternatively, she suggests: “Smear some into celery boats or red pepper wedges for a quick afternoon snack.” (Click here to see the recipe.)

Antipasti Goat Cheese with Spicy Tomato Sauce Antipasti Goat Cheese with Spicy Tomato Sauce This gorgeous goat cheese dish comes from our friend Joyce Goldstein’s cookbook, Antipasti (Chronicle Books, 2006). The cheese is topped with a spicy tomato sauce that gets its heat from red pepper flakes. The simple dish is considered a classic in Italy’s northwest Piedmont region. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Salad/Vegetable

Asparagus Salad With Ginger-Citrus Vinaigrette We asked our Facebook fans about their favorite spring vegetable. Asparagus was the hands-down winner. No surprise. I love it, too! And so does our friend Viviane Baquet Farre, who developed the beautiful roasted asparagus dish featured here. Viviane – creator of the gorgeous food e-magazine foodandstyle.com – combines oven-roasted asparagus with Valencia oranges, snow peas, baby arugula, and sesame seeds. It gets dressed with a ginger-citrus vinaigrette. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Grilled Vegetables in the Style of Santa Margherita Grilled Vegetables Raichlen LRGrilling aficionado Steven Raichlen developed this stunning dish based on a grilled vegetable platter that he dined on during a visit to the gorgeous seaside town of Santa Margherita, on the Italian Riviera. “In keeping with the Italian understatement when it comes to grilling, the vegetables were cooked without the benefit of a marinade and with only a drizzle of olive oil and squirt of lemon juice by way of a sauce,” Raichlen writes in his classic tome, The Barbecue! Bible (Workman Publishing, 2008), where the recipe appears. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Main Course

Lemon Halibut with Caper Sauce

This dish (in photo at top) comes from the grilling gurus at Weber — in particular, Weber’s Big Book of Grilling (Chronicle Books, 2001), by Jamie Purviance and Sandra S. McRae. Halibut steaks are first rubbed with a paste made from extra virgin olive oil, chopped fresh parsley, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. They’re grilled, and then drizzled with a sauce made from olive oil, fresh lemon juice, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, capers, chopped parsley, and a pinch of red pepper flakes for some heat. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Orecchiette with Rapini and Goat Cheese Orecchiette with Rapini and Goat CheesePerhaps mom is a pasta lover. The food gurus at Saveur magazine like using rapini – a pleasantly bitter vegetable – in a pasta combined with goat cheese, lemon zest, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Rapini also is known as broccoli rabe. (Click here for the recipe.)

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Skirt Steak with Chimichurri SauceThis is one of our favorite dishes around here. Chimichurri sauce is a traditional accompaniment to South American grilled meats. No two chimichurri recipes are the same. This one features fresh cilantro, oregano, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, and crushed red pepper flakes for heat. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Dessert

Mousse au Chocolat with Olive Oil Mousse au Chocolat with Olive Oil

Chocolate is a natural for Mother’s Day. And my suggestion: Prepare a luscious chocolate mousse that delivers fabulous taste without the guilt. This chocolate mousse – a real crowd pleaser – uses two heart-healthy ingredients: dark chocolate and extra virgin olive oil. No butter or heavy cream, like some recipes use. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Olive Oil Pound Cake Olive Oil Poundcake This is another favorite that’s my kind of dessert. “This is a simple basic cake for olive oil lovers,” dessert chef Alice Medrich writes in her book, Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts (Artisan Books, 2012), where the cake appears. “Any extra virgin olive oil you like – from delicate to robust – will be good in the cake.” The recipe calls for just eight ingredients. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Bon appétit,

California Olive Ranch Master Miller Bob Singletary