If you’re ready to round up the moms in your life for brunch, look no farther than the beloved bagel, which is suitably circular to reflect the everlasting love of moms. We love our moms year-round, but Mother’s Day gives us a reason to encircle them with appreciation.
Round references aside, a bagel spread makes the ideal brunch for celebrating Sunday – the variety of toppings and bagel flavors offer something for both sweet and savory food fans.
Whether you’re a mom hosting friends or a dad looking to wow his wife, a bagel spread comes together with little effort, and is impressive whether you’re hosting a party of one mom or a houseful of mothers. What’s more, brunch sits perfectly placed on the clock to allow the mom in question to sleep in or go for a morning walk as it’s prepared.
If you’re able, buy bagels the morning of the brunch for maximum freshness. Posh Bagel, with locations in Los Altos and Mountain View, opens by 7 a.m. Sundays (6:30 at its Grant Road location). It makes a small quantity of mini-bagels each day. If you can get them, offer mini-size so that your guests can make several bagel creations. Full-size bagels are great to include in the brunch, too, for those committed to a single choice in toppings.
Everything else can be made ahead of time. Then it’s just a matter of assembling the boards and toasting the bagels. Your oven can be used to toast in bulk. Cut bagels and place them open side up on a sheet pan. If you’re able to keep an eye on them, put them under the broiler for two to three minutes. Alternatively, place the sheet pan in an oven heated to 350 F for 10 minutes.
Hummus, Nutella and nut butters are all great out-of-the jar spreads. Of course, cream cheese is a must have. It’s easy to create a sweet and a savory cream cheese spread by mixing basic ingredients into an 8-ounce block of cream cheese. For sweet, simply mix a to-taste quantity of strawberry jam or cinnamon sugar into the cheese. In another block of cream cheese, mix chopped herbs such as dill, chives and basil. If your party is small, a single block of cheese can be halved and used to create the two spreads.
This where you can get creative. Various smoked fish, capers, chopped shallots, tomatoes, cucumber and radishes provide savory variety. Fresh and dried fruit, mint leaves, granola and toasted nuts along with honey and jams give a spectrum of sweet toppings.
A trio to try
Pour-over coffee, flavored water and juice are perfect drinks for the brunch. But if you’re planning a long and lingering meal for a mom who enjoys wine, following are three bagel combinations complete with wine-pairings to try.
• Top a toasted sesame seed or cinnamon raisin bagel with chevre, fresh figs and a drizzle of honey. Pair with a dry Riesling or Gruner Veltliner.
• Mix lemon zest and flaky sea salt into cream cheese to spread across a plain toasted bagel. Top with smoked trout and sprigs of dill. Pair the bagel with prosecco or a mango mimosa.
• For everything-bagel fans, create a salsa of chopped tomatoes, basil, shallots and capers to heap atop plain cream cheese. Pair with a crisp Provencal Rosé.
Christine Moore is a Mountain View resident. To read her blog, visit sheepishsommelier.blogspot.com.