Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to go local. The Farmers Market is in full swing; offering all the raw ingredients you’ll need for that special brunch or dinner. And you'll be able to tell mom whose chickens laid those glowingly fresh eggs, and who grew that perfect asparagus.
Springtime vegetables lend themselves to a wide array of lovely little brunch recipes. Asparagus is just coming on, and several farmers are offering it this year. The Washington crop just showed up at local supermarkets as well. It makes a perfect pairing with the pasture-raised eggs available at the Market – they can go together in all sorts of ways. This simple recipe grills the asparagus, and uses it as a base for over-easy eggs drizzled with good balsamic vinegar. Serve that with some toasted bread from The Village Baker, and you’ll make mom’s day. For another umami-full take on this idea, try Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Miso Butter.
Or whip up a soufflé using Dungeness crab and asparagus. Pulling off a perfectly-pouffed soufflé will put an exclamation point on how much you love her. If you really want to show off, you can go for chef Alain Ducasse’s recipe for Asparagus Three Ways, which combines raw, cooked and pureed asparagus with eggs for a light brunch entrée or starter for dinner.
Asparagus is just one of the mom-pleasing veggies being offered at the Farmers Market this week. There are also greens galore; I shared some ideas for using them in an earlier article. Just-picked salad greens from the Market will add taste and texture to any salad recipe, if it makes you more comfortable here’s a basic salad recipe. You could top those greens simply with slices of tiny sweet radishes and drizzles of olive oil and balsamic.
Fresh local spinach is also in season right now. Spinach is a great partner for goat cheese from Port Madison Farm. This recipe for Spinach Salad with Lentils and Warm Goat Cheese is from Nancy Silverton’s tasty new cookbook called Twist of the Wrist, which uses quality store-bought condiments as recipe shortcuts.
Spinach also works well as part of a strata, which is basically just a savory bread pudding. The beauty of stratas is that you make them the night before, then stick them into the fridge to pop in the oven the next morning for a no-fuss brunch. Here’s a basic recipe for a spinach strata. In another pairing of spinach and eggs, those fish-flinging fellows from Pike Street Market offer a recipe for a Baked Crab Pepper Spinach Frittata.
Puckery sorrel is at its best now. This recipe for Smoked Salmon Benedict with Sorrel Sauce is from Jerry Traunfeld, formerly of The Herbfarm. It is truly amazing.
If dinner is going to be your gift to mom, you could use that sorrel in its traditional role as a topping for salmon. Here’s the classic recipe for Salmon with Sorrel Sauce from chef Pierre Troisgros. Greg Atkinson suggests a lighter version made by simmering the sorrel in wine or champagne and then finishing with cream in his enlightening article on sorrel. His recipe for a grilled blue cheese sandwich with sorrel sounds devine, I plan to try it with som eof Port Madison's blue-type goat cheese. Another dinner option would be salmon and some of that fresh asparagus with Mon Elisa’s fresh pasta to make Seared Salmon Filet with Egg Pasta, and Sautéed Green Asparagus.
Using fresh, local ingredients grown close to home by a local farmer and harvested the same day will give an extra dose of love to whatever you cook up for Mother's Day.