A Delicious Mother’s Day Menu That Would Make Her Proud

roasted chicken
Photo: Luca Lorusso and Vivienne Polak

As an alternative to (or in addition to!) hosting a standard Mother's Day brunch, consider treating mom to a delicious homemade dinner and decadent dessert. Think of it as your way of giving back for all those years she spent packing your school lunch box.

Chicory Salad with Walnuts

Insalata de Cicoria e Noci / Chicory Salad with Walnuts

What You'll Need:

  • 1 bunch of leaf chicory (endive), leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bulb fennel, shaved, fennel fronds reserved
  • 4 radishes, roughly sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 grapefruit, segmented
  • 100 g (31/2 oz/1 cup) walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions:

Place the vegetables, tomato and grapefruit in a bowl and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss lightly.

In a small frying pan over low heat, toast the walnuts. When the pan is warm, add the sugar and shake, or stir, to coat all of the walnuts in the sugar. Continue stirring while the sugar melts and coats the walnuts, about 5 minutes. Place the candied walnuts on some baking paper to cool.

Mix the olive oil, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice in a bowl and pour half of this dressing over the salad, reserving the remainder and adding it if you need it. Sprinkle the candied walnuts and the fennel fronds over the top and serve.

Roasted Chicken with Herbs

Pollo Arrosto con le Erbe Aromatiche / Roast Chicken with Herbs

What You'll Need:

  • 6 whole flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 10 large basil leaves
  • 1/2 chilli (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1.8 kg free-range chicken, butterflied (you can ask your butcher to do this)
  • 80 ml (2 1/2 fl oz/ 1/8 cup) olive oil

Directions:

Process the herbs, chilli (if using), cumin, garlic and onion with some salt and freshly ground black pepper, in a blender or food processor until the mixture has become a chunky paste.

Using your fingers, gently prise the skin away from the chicken flesh without breaking the skin.

Take the herb paste and push it under the skin and massage the paste down into the leg and thigh of the chicken, as well as the breast. Rub any remaining paste all over the chicken and leave to marinate for a few hours, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and preheat a barbecue to high.

Take the chicken out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking.

Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and place it, skin side down, on the hot barbecue grill. After 5 minutes, take the chicken off the grill and place it, skin side up, in an oiled baking dish. Alternatively, you can sear the chicken in a chargrill pan.

Roast the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes and then turn the chicken over for another 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (320°F) and turn the chicken, skin side up, for a further 10 minutes. When the juices run clear, take the chicken out of the oven and cover loosely with foil to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Cut into serving pieces and season to taste.

Grilled Peaches

Pesche alla Griglia / Grilled Peaches

What You'll Need:

  • 4 peaches, halved and stoned
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • handful of mint leaves, shredded
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) amaretto or Frangelico
  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) fresh ricotta
  • 75 g (2 3/4 oz/ 1/2 cup)
  • pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).

Heat a chargrill pan over high heat and oil it well. When hot, place the peach halves, cut side down, on the grill for 3 minutes and then carefully turn over and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the peaches from the grill, cover loosely with foil and set aside.

Put the honey, vanilla seeds, mint and amaretto in a small bowl and combine.

Place the peaches in a shallow baking dish and pour the honey mixture over the top. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the peaches have caramelised.

Take the peaches out of the oven, divide among serving bowls, top with the fresh ricotta, scatter over the pistachio nuts and serve either warm or at room temperature.

Sharing Puglia Cover

Recipes courtesy of Sharing Puglia by Luca Lorusso and Vivienne Polak. Published by Hardie Grant Books. Buy it on Amazon.