Martha Stewart Knows What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day

Photo by Fadil Berisha
Photo by Fadil Berisha

This Mother’s Day, skip the fancy candles and cashmere throws. Sure, they’re nice gifts, and your mom will probably ooh and ahh over them all day long. But what your mom really wants for Mother’s Day can’t be bought at any fancy department store—all she wants is to feel special, loved, and appreciated for all she’s done for you over the years. And what better way to show your mama just how much you care then by whipping her up a gourmet brunch!

If the kitchen doesn’t exactly fall inside your comfort zone, not to fear. Everyone’s favorite domestic goddess, Martha Stewart, shared a few of her favorite simple brunch recipes from her newest cookbook “Clean Slate.” We guarantee they’ll put a smile on your mom’s face (and help you beat the brunch rush) this Sunday.

SWEET STARTER: Crostini with fresh ricotta, cherries, and lemon zest

Photo by Raymond Hom
Photo by Raymond Hom

Instead of kicking off your meal with a plate of dry toast and boring jam or butter, head to your local bakery and buy a loaf of organic, crusty bread and top with fresh fruit and ricotta cheese.

6 ounces sweet cherries, pitted and chopped (1 1/4 cups)
1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
4 slices rustic bread
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh ricotta
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus more for garnish (peeled in long strips)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine cherries and brown sugar in a bowl; let macerate 10 minutes. Meanwhile, brush bread with olive oil, and toast until golden, (5 to 7 minutes). Mix together ricotta and lemon zest in a bowl. Dividing evenly, spread ricotta on bread and top with cherries. Garnish with zest and serve immediately.

SAVORY MAIN DISH: Frittata with Spring Vegetables

Photo by Johnny Miller
Photo by Johnny Miller

There’s nothing worse than slaving away over the stove while everyone is playing games on the terrace. Join the party—and still serve an amazing dish—by making an authentic Italian frittata ahead of time. Brimming with fresh vegetables and protein-rich eggs, it’s no-muss, no-fuss, and healthy to boot!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño chile, thinly sliced (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1/4 bunch asparagus (4 ounces), ends trimmed, tips cut into
2-inch pieces and stalks cut into ¼-inch pieces
Coarse salt
8 large eggs

Heat broiler. In an ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and jalapeño; cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and asparagus; cook until tender, stirring, about 7 minutes more. Season with salt.

Whisk eggs in a bowl; season with salt. Pour into skillet with vegetables; cook, undisturbed, until sides just begin to set, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven; broil until frittata is just set in the middle and lightly golden and puffed on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

DECADENT DESSERT: Strawberry Cream Cake

Photo by Marcus Nillson
Photo by Marcus Nillson

Finish your meal on a sweet note with this easy, but impressive, strawberry dessert. Best of all, it can sit patiently in the refrigerator for up to a day.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
1 pound strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-ounce envelope)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan, and line with parchment paper. Butter and flour paper and sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in 3 parts and milk in 2, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Using a serrated knife, split cake in half horizontally; place bottom half, cut side up, on a serving plate.

Make topping: In a large bowl, combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside. Place 2 tablespoons cold water in a small saucepan, and sprinkle with gelatin; let soften 5 minutes. Place saucepan over very low heat, and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool. Using an electric mixer, beat cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until very soft peaks form. Continue to beat, and gradually add gelatin mixture; beat until soft peaks form.

Arrange half of strawberries over bottom cake layer; top with half of whipped cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Cover with top half of cake, cut side down. Top cake with remaining whipped cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Refrigerate cake and remaining strawberries separately, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Just before serving, spoon strawberries over cake.