Mother’s Day Dinner Menu

Mother’s Day Dinner Menu

[Note: You can see a variation of this menu in our Gilded Fork: Entertaining at Home cookbook, which features our fabulously famous Lavender Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze.]

Mom is a very special woman. You know it, we know it, and on Mother’s Day it’s time to show it. Though she would likely be satisfied with mud pies, we’ve gone slightly more elegant with this beautiful yet simple dinner menu. This way she can relax with a glass of wine while you get supper on the table – and you can spoil her for a change. (We’ve included notes for the wines below, too.)

A cacophony of Spring dishes is the way to win any Mom’s heart. With vivid colors, bright flavors, and simple preparation, this menu is a sure winner.


Fennel, Orange and Zereshk (Barberry) Salad with Fig Vincotto
Suggested wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc
(see Wine Notes below for further details)


Carrot and Ginger Soup
Suggested wine pairing: Gewurtztraminer


Sautéed Duck Breast with Green Peppercorn and Morel Cream Sauce
Suggested wine pairing: Cool-climate Merlot


Apricot Ginger Flan
Suggested wine pairing: Late harvest or Ice-style wine


Many thanks to Lenn Thompson from LENNDEVOURS for our Mother’s Day wine pairings. He has provided recommendations by varietal to make it easier for you. Simply take this menu into your local wine store for their recommendations.

Fennel, Orange and Zheresk Salad

Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc

Reasoning: Sauvignon Blanc is always a pair for citrusy-herbal salads because their flavor profiles are often similar, and their crispness can stand up to the acidity in citrus fruit.

Carrot and Ginger Soup

Varietal: Gewurtztraminer

Reasoning: Any time a recipe calls for ginger, I reach for a bottle of gewurtz, which literally means “spicy” in German. Rich and ripe with stone fruit and pineapple flavors, but racy, floral and minerally-crisp at the same time, it complements and enhances this flavorful spicy-sweet soup.

Duck Breast with a Green Peppercorn and Morel Cream Sauce

Varietal: Cool Climate Merlot

Reasoning: Pinot noir might seem the more classic pairing, but this medium-bodied, flavorful merlot, with its smooth, well-integrated tannins, red plum and cherry fruit character and subtle earthiness will take this hearty dish to new heights.

Apricot Ginger Flan

Varietal: Late Harvest or Ice-Style Wine

Reasoning: Too many sweet wines are heavy on the palate, but this one, made with frozen gewurtztraminer and sauvignon blanc grapes manages to be rich, unctuous and complex — all with a zing of palate-cleansing acidity. Lychee, honey, apricots, candied orange peel and sweet vanilla mingle on the palate. Perfect for this flan, it’s just as good on its own.


For those curious about the meaning of mise en place, it is a French culinary term for “set in place.” If you have ever watched a cooking show, or been inside a restaurant kitchen, you will notice that next to the cooking area, things are set up just so. Ingredients, sauces and critical elements are ready to be used, whether pre-cooked, pre-chopped, or ready as a garnish. This kind of organized setup enables a cook to focus on the actual act of cooking itself without distraction. Our intention with this section is to use the same approach at home, enabling you to host your own special occasions with flair.