Cooking | Magazine

Recipes: An easy, elegant feast for Mother’s Day brunch

Surprise her this year with an elegant feast that sounds fancy but is simpler than you’d think to prepare.

Pan-fried fresh salmon cakes, spring herb and prosciutto omelet, and remoulade sauce.
Photographs by anthony tieuli; food styling by Sheila jarnes/Ennis inc.
Pan-fried fresh salmon cakes, spring herb and prosciutto omelet, and remoulade sauce.

Mother’s Day is coming up, and any mom I can think of would love to be treated to a homemade spring brunch. This menu features an easy but dramatic family-sized omelet with prosciutto and herbs and crunchy fresh salmon cakes with a tangy remoulade sauce. The omelet is a wide and relatively thin omelet-frittata hybrid, which acts as a base for the herb “salad.’’ Cheers to you, Mom!


Makes about 1 cup

Remoulade sauce is no shrinking violet flavor-wise when made with white wine, but tarragon vinegar will add an extra layer of flavor.

¾      cup mayonnaise


2        teaspoons grainy Dijon mustard

1         teaspoon white wine or tarragon vinegar

3        tablespoons chopped bread-and-butter pickles or sweet pickle relish, squeezed to remove excess moisture

1         tablespoon capers, drained, rinsed, and chopped

¼      cup minced scallion, white and light green parts (about 2 medium)


1         tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

½      teaspoon minced anchovy (about 1 medium-small fillet, preferably oil-packed)

¾      teaspoon hot pepper sauce

½      teaspoon paprika

Salt and ground black pepper


In a medium bowl, whisk all the ingredients, including ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste, until well blended and uniform. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper if necessary. Use it to accompany the salmon cakes or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.



Makes about 8 2½-to 3-inch cakes

This recipe begins with fresh, raw salmon. The mixture is easier to handle and less apt to crumble when it’s cool, so if you have time refrigerate it for about an hour before forming the cakes. Handle gently when forming, coating, and cooking. I use a 1/3-cup measure to portion the mixture and ensure evenly sized cakes.

½      cup vegetable oil

½      cup minced shallots (about 2 medium)

1         cup panko bread crumbs

2        tablespoons mayonnaise

1         tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

1         teaspoon Dijon mustard

¾      teaspoon hot pepper sauce

11/3    pounds salmon fillet, pin bones removed if necessary, skinned, and cut into 1½-inch pieces

Salt and ground black pepper

¼      cup chopped fresh parsley

In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until just starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Scrape the shallots into a large bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and set aside.

Add 3 tablespoons panko to the shallots; place the remaining panko in a pie plate and set aside. To the shallot-panko mixture add the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, and hot pepper sauce and whisk to combine. In a food processor, pulse half the salmon to chop coarsely, about 2 1-second pulses. Be careful not to overprocess — the mixture should be chunky. Scrape the salmon into the bowl with the shallot-panko mixture. Repeat with the remaining salmon. Add 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper to taste, and the parsley and mix gently until uniform. Ideally, cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Divide the mixture into 8 even portions and, with moistened hands (to limit sticking), gently pat each into a 2½- to 3-inch round cake, 1 inch thick. Carefully coat the cakes on both sides in remaining panko, pressing gently to help it adhere.

With the rack in the middle position, heat the oven to 250 degrees. Add the remaining 7 tablespoons of oil to the skillet, return it to medium heat, and heat until shimmering. Arrange 4 of the cakes in the skillet (make sure they don’t touch) and cook, undisturbed, until crisp and medium brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes (the oil should bubble around the cakes visibly but gently — adjust heat as necessary). Working carefully so as not to crumble the cakes, gently turn them over (using two spatulas helps) and continue to cook, undisturbed, until crisp and medium brown on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. Carefully remove the cakes to a paper towel-lined heatproof plate to drain briefly. Remove the paper towel and put the plate in the oven to keep warm. Repeat to cook and drain the remaining cakes, and serve at once with lemon wedges and remoulade sauce.

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 With minimal binder, the salmon cakes are delicate, so I use two spatulas to turn them in the skillet. Support the cakes with one while edging the second one underneath to turn them.
Anthony Tieuli
With minimal binder, the salmon cakes are delicate, so I use two spatulas to turn them in the skillet. Support the cakes with one while edging the second one underneath to turn them.



Makes 1 12-inch omelet; serves 6

Use any good melting cheese for this omelet, such as havarti, fontina, Monterey Jack, Gouda, mozzarella, a mild cheddar. I steer clear of especially tangy or briny cheeses, such as goat or feta, which can easily overpower the delicate flavor of the herb salad.

This recipe is adapted from Favorite Food at Home by Rachel Allen.

For the omelet:

8        large eggs

3        tablespoons heavy cream

3        tablespoons snipped fresh chives

Salt and ground black pepper

1         tablespoon butter

¼      cup minced shallot (about 1 medium), 1 tablespoon reserved

3        ounces good melting cheese or brie, excess rind trimmed, diced small (about 1 cup)

2        large slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces), torn into smaller pieces, at room temperature

For the salad:

1½    teaspoons champagne or white wine vinegar

¼      teaspoon Dijon mustard

1½    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper

4        cups loosely packed and torn Little Gem, Boston, Bibb, or other butter lettuce (about ½ small head) or other mild, tender lettuce

2        cups loosely packed greens, such as watercress, baby or micro arugula, mache, or pea shoots or tendrils

1         cup loosely packed mixed fresh, tender herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, dill, chives, or scallion greens and lovage or celery leaves

Adjust the oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, cream, chives, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; set aside.

In a 10-inch nonstick skillet (with a heatproof handle) over medium heat, melt the butter. Add 3 tablespoons of minced shallot and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Spread the shallot pieces evenly in the pan, add the egg mixture, and cook, without stirring, until edges begin to set and bubbles begin to appear in the center, about 2 minutes. Scatter the cheese evenly over the eggs. With a heatproof, nonstick-safe spatula, lift an edge of cooked egg and tilt the skillet so that uncooked egg runs underneath. Repeat this process around entire perimeter until very little runny egg remains, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the skillet to the oven, and cook until the center is just set, about 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with the spatula and slide the omelet onto a serving plate. Arrange the prosciutto on the omelet and allow to cool about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper to taste and the reserved shallot. When the salt has dissolved, add the olive oil and whisk vigorously. Add the lettuce, greens, and herbs and toss to coat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and toss to distribute. Arrange the salad on the omelet and serve at once.  

Adam Ried appears regularly on “America’s Test Kitchen.’’ Send comments to Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag.