This past Sunday, I set out to put together the mother of all Mother’s Day brunches for the woman who is largely responsible for my undying passion for food. In an effort to pull out all the stops for this year’s celebration, I decided to cure my own gravlax for an over-the-top meal that would show my appreciation for all that she has done for me. Convinced my offering would exhibit a bit of advanced culinary know-how and finesse, I was certain that such a meal would surely outdo any boring old Benedict.
Having never cured salmon before, I was completely caught off guard by how simple and hands-off the whole curing process was going to be. Here I was planning an elaborate, intricate and involved meal, and I was nearly done with all of the “advanced” prep work three days before the big event. Flash forward to Sunday and a few careful, paper-thin slices later and we were sitting down to an elegant brunch that went down as “one of the best in years.” Placed atop a toasted bagel with rich cream cheese, crisp red onions, juicy tomato and briny capers, the lox stood out as a true hero with its subtle essence of dill and lemon on a delicate backdrop of sweet, salty salmon. There might not have been pillowy poached eggs and velvety hollandaise this time around, but served alongside fresh seasonal fruit, soft scrambled eggs and refreshing mimosas, it was as elegant a meal as any.