Sure, you can take mom out for brunch on Mother’s Day and present her with a little wrapped parcel topped with a bow. But that’s what everyone will be doing. What about making her brunch instead? Even better, make her brunch from one of these three new cookbooks, and leave them behind as a gift for her.
These three books are full of pleasing classics, but they offer fresh twists at every turn. They’re pretty enough to set on a coffee table, but durable enough to thumb through on a regular basis. Not only that, but they’ll help you whip together a mid-morning extravaganza that she’ll remember for years to come.
Smoked Salmon Tart with Cornmeal Millet Crust from Whole Grain Mornings
Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon
This book is organized by season, and chock full of recipes that pair every stripe of whole grain with readily available produce. These recipes take into account the defining mood of each season, and thoughtfully incorporate the grains into dishes that are practical and flavorful. It’s obvious that this granola-peddling maven knows her stuff in the kitchen. She’s included a section with instructions for basics—there’s a tutorial on yogurt-making and a section about how to infuse honey. There’s also an indispensable chart that lists whole grain cooking times and water ratios. You’ll also learn a thing or two about the anatomy of a whole grain. O
oh la la. In a world saturated with good cookbooks, there are still precious few heralding the morning meal. This book is bound to be a classic. Don’t miss the recipe for Strawberry Oat Breakfast Crisp, Zucchini Farro Cakes, and of course, the many granola flavors.
Oven Eggs with Olive Oil and Dukkah from Eggs on Top
Eggs on Top by Andrea Slonecker
This is a book about all things, well, all things egg. In the shell, out of the shell, poached, scrambled, fried, baked, preserved. There are detailed instructions for just about any way you’d want to cook an egg. There is a handy lexicon of what to look for on egg labels and how to decipher all the terms that have crept into the confusing sourcing of what is the most basic of ingredients. Should you buy cage-free, hormone-free, or free-range? Slonecker helps guide the reader into making their own best choice.
These recipes don’t merely throw an egg on top of any old concoction. Rather, they use the ingredients to elevate the egg to its rightly stature as centerpiece of the meal. For Mother’s Day brunch, try the Pimento Cheese Grits with Greens and Milk-Poached eggs, Beet-Pickled Eggs, or the ever-so-prim and well-portioned Croque Mademoiselle.
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison
This book is for the mom who likes to cook and garden. People familiar with Madison’s vast library of cookbooks will probably know her for the classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, which itself recently had a revamp. Vegetable Literacy is one of her recent titles and one not to be missed. It is organized by plant family, so all the cabbage and cruciferous recipes are grouped together. Likewise the bulbous and stalky Lily family that includes onions, leeks and asparagus.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Madison honors the place of vegetables in a meal like few can. Flip through the book and suddenly you realize you’re salivating for Young Leeks with Oranges and Pistachios or Wilted Red Cabbage with Mint and Feta or Broccoli Bites with Curried Mayonnaise. This book would make the perfect addition to Mom’s bookshelf, but would also provide a hearty salad to serve along with brunch.
(Image credits: Emma Christensen; Coco Morante; Clare Barboza; Dana Velden)