Mother's Day Recipes

Make something delicious for the woman who doesn’t want anything.

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The most recent incarnation of the iconic Waldorf salad is matchstick apples, grapes, walnuts and celery in a light vinaigrette. 

Photo by: Image courtesy of Waldorf Astoria

Image courtesy of Waldorf Astoria

The most recent incarnation of the iconic Waldorf salad is matchstick apples, grapes, walnuts and celery in a light vinaigrette. 

My mother does not like presents. She doesn't even pretend to like presents. She doesn't want flowers or jewelry, knick-knacks or clothes. And she definitely doesn't want perfume or a hot-stone massage.

She doesn't want anything. This, of course, has never stopped me from trying.

Food is the only Mother's Day gift that's ever been successful.  As a woman who spent decades making meals, she appreciates a well thought out menu full of fresh ingredients that leaves her with lots of energy to play with the grandkids afterwards.

In my family—and so many others—food is the way we show love. Use the seasonal recipes below—Waldorf salad, artichoke soup and a strawberry-filled sangria—to love your mom well this Mother's Day.

Waldorf Salad

One of the most iconic plates in the world, the Waldorf Salad has been on the menu at New York's Waldorf Astoria for 100 years. Back in the 1890s, Waldorf maitre d' Oscar Tschirky tossed apples, celery and walnuts with mayonnaise. Today, the salad is a crispy, mayo-less combination of red and green apples, celery root and a light dressing made with Champagne vinegar and truffle oil.

Serves 8

For candied walnuts:

  • 1 cups raw walnut halves (pecans can be substituted)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon spice mixture (such as paprika, cayenne, ground fennel seed and ground coriander)
  • 1 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine walnuts and egg white. Add spice mixture and sugar and mix until evenly coated.

2. Spread walnuts in one even layer on a nonstick sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until browned, about 20 minutes.

For dressing:

  • 2 ounces Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 ounces Champagne vinegar
  • 1 ounce white truffle oil
  • 24 ounces olive oil
  • Salt to taste

1. In a medium bowl, combine mustard, egg yolk, vinegar and truffle oil. Briskly whisk in olive oil in a steady stream to emulsify. Season to taste and set aside.

For salad:

  • ½ cup celery root (celeriac), peeled (regular peeled celery can be substituted)
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, unpeeled
  • 2 large Gala apples, unpeeled
  • 1 dozen red grapes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • ½ cup micro arugula or celery leaves

1. Using a mandoline on the fine comb setting or a sharp knife, julienne the apples into matchstick-size strips, being careful to avoid the seeds and the core. Cut the celeriac into small cubes and transfer the apples and celeriac to a mixing bowl.

2. Gently fold the dressing into the apple mixture until well combined and add the arugula, grapes and chives. Be sure not to overdress the salad.

3. Divide the salad between chilled serving plates. Garnish if desired with dried apple chips.

Artichoke Soup with Foccacia Croutons

"Mark grew up in artichoke country—Carmel, California—and eating an artichoke is actually my first food memory," says Clark Frasier, chef and co-owner of M.C. Spiedo with Mark Gaier. "They're a rich, unctuous vegetable with lovely flavor. Rather than being a 'cream of artichoke soup,' this is an artichoke soup that's very lightly creamed, just to give it a silky texture."

  • 8 whole artichokes
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 2 ounces flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup Spanish onion, finely chopped

1. In a sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the onion in the butter until soft.  Add the flour and whisk. Warm the stock and milk and add it in. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently until thick. 

2. Bring artichokes to a boil in cold, salted water. Cook until done (or until leaves pull out easily). Allow the artichokes to cool. Remove the thistle and reserve pale green leaves and add to the béchamel.

3. Chop the hearts and add to the béchamel as well.  Cook at low heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Allow to cool slightly then puree in batches until smooth in a blender. Garnish with leaves and toasted olive oil focaccia croutons.    

Focaccia Croutons

  • 2 pounds rosemary focaccia bread, diced medium
  • 3 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup grated pecorino romano

1. Heat olive oil up to 325 degrees F in a large sauté pan. Add diced focaccia bread to the olive oil and toss with slotted spoon gently. Be careful to ensure you do not splash olive oil.

2. Once croutons become golden brown and crispy on all sides (5-6 minutes), remove from oil and place into stainless steel bowl. Add grated pecorino and toss.

3. Place on a sheet tray with paper towels underneath to absorb the oil.

Toast mom with this fruity sangria full of fresh strawberries and lime juice.

Photo by: Image by Jennifer May

Image by Jennifer May

Toast mom with this fruity sangria full of fresh strawberries and lime juice.

White Sangria with Strawberries and Lime

Tart and fruity, this simple sangria recipe is fresh from the Chelsea Market Cookbook: 100 Recipes from New York's Premiere Indoor Food Hall. Krista Lee, assistant manager of the Chelsea Wine Vault, uses white wine instead of red because it's lighter and "allows the strawberry flavor to come through."

  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • 1 ½ tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 1 ½ cups sparkling water
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 lime, one half thinly sliced and one half juiced

1. At least two hours before serving, stir the wine and sugar together in a large pitcher to dissolve the sugar. Add the strawberries, lime slices and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

2. Just before serving, add the sparkling water and ice and stir to combine.

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