Don’t have set plans this evening? Consider celebrating Mother’s Day—and basking in spring’s warmer weather—by serving a thoughtful dinner outside. Our fresh, seasonal Mediterranean menu will make it an occasion to remember. Keep reading for recipes, decorating tips and more.
Start off the evening with chilled white wine—for a dinner with seafood, like this one, we love a bottle with lots of minerality, like Chablis. Along with the wine, whet everyone’s appetite with snacky nibbles, like marcona almonds and a trio of green olives.
Begin dinner with a soup course like potato-leek soup, an elegant French classic that’s also ideal for spring, since it can be served either hot or cold, depending on weather. Garnish it with peas, snow peas, and chives, which not only look stunning but add a nice crunch as well.
As a main course, serve broiled flounder with a lemon, garlic and parsley sauce, which is both light and bright and intensely rich at the same time. The recipe comes from renowned Asheville chef Katie Button, and she uses utilizes black walnuts to add an earthier flavor to the garlic, parsley and lemon gremolata, but their common walnuts would work just as well, too. On the side, offer your favorite local baked bread and a big green lettuce salad.
Finish the meal with cherry clafoutis, a rustic dessert from southern France that is fast and easy to prepare, and beautiful to present, which makes it perfect for impromptu gatherings. It’s wonderful on its own, but would also play nicely with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
A Mediterranean-inspired tablescape helps to set the tone for the evening. Transfer snacks like almonds and olives on to dainty ceramic appetizer plates scattered across the middle of the table for everyone to share. Set places with sea-blue geometric soup bowls, which are perfect for the potato-leek soup, and corresponding sea-blue floral dinner plates. The broiled flounder would be fitting served on this inherently elegant white ironstone textured fish platter. Set linen blend napkins on each place setting for color contrast. As the centerpiece, nothing beats fresh fruit—lemons add a pop of color—and fresh orchids or tulips in a creamy white.