Mother’s Day is a challenge where the pressure is high but honestly, expectations are low. A sane breakfast at home is really the best gift and a Dutch Baby pancake couldn’t be easier. Topped with greens, strawberries and a drizzle of a Rhubarb Vinaigrette, this is an elegant brunch dish fresh from the farmer’s market that will make a big impression on Mom….and anyone else at the table.
Rhubarb is still in the farmers markets even though I could not find it in the grocery stores. When foraging for stalks at the market, look for the reddest stalks you can find. Almost all farms will remove the leaves before selling, if your leaves are still attached, remove and discard. They can be toxic.
Strawberries make their first appearance at the market and will bear no resemblance to grocery strawberries sold year-round. Local strawberries are smaller and juicier with a floral sweetness that makes them just as appropriate in salads as they are in desserts. Try to find organic strawberries, if you can. We are lucky in Great Falls to have an organic source. Strawberries are susceptible to pests and are commonly sprayed. If you have any doubts, rinse the berries with water in a colander for a few minutes to help wash away any residue.
Only rinse strawberries you intend to use immediately. Washed strawberries will not last long, nor will your fresh market strawberries. However, once washed, I find it helps to remove the strawberry tops, slice into quarters and toss with a little sugar. I keep a bowl in the fridge and find the berries last several days longer than raw strawberries.
Making a Dutch Baby Pancake couldn’t be easier and suits both sweet and savory appetites. It just take a blitz of a few ingredients in a blender then a hot oven takes care of the rest.
Impress your Mom and give this a try. You’ll impress yourself, as well. There is no better gift than the ability to serve something lovely and enjoy it together. Happy Mother’s Day to all!
- ½ cup flour or gluten-free 1-to-1 flour (gf)
- ½ cup milk or favorite non-sweetened dairy substitute (v)
- 2 eggs or egg substitute (v)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3-4 stalks rhubarb stalks, ends removed, cut into thin slices
- 2 Tablespoons local honey
- ¼ cup water
- 1-2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- 2 handfuls of baby arugula
- 1 small handful watercress leaves and tender stems
- 1 large handful strawberries, leaves removed and cut into quarters or halves if small.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Place an oven-safe 10-inch fry pan (standard cast iron pan works great) into the oven while preheating.
- Into a blender, place the milk, eggs, flour and salt, in that order. Pulse a few times, scrape down the sides and then blitz until completely blended and smooth. Set aside. (you can also use a food processor, stand mixer or electric mixer but it is laborious to mix by hand as the batter should be completely smooth. This takes just a few moments with any of the above electric mixers.)
- While the oven preheats, place the rhubarb into a saucepan with the honey and water over medium heat and stir occasionally until the rhubarb completely breaks down. Set aside to cool a bit.
- When the oven is preheated, carefully remove the hot fry pan and add the butter quickly so that it covers the bottom and sides. (I just use a knife to swirl it around). Immediately add the batter to cover the pan evenly and place back into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, checking periodically. It is done when the edges are dark brown and the center is light brown and puffed. (When you remove, you might feel as if you have grown an alien but be assured, it will deflate once it sits.)
- While the pancake is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Place the rhubarb mixture into a blender with the vinegar, blend until smooth. While blending, pour in olive oil in a small but steady stream. Taste and season with salt to taste.
- Remove pancake from oven and let deflate for a few moments. Toss greens with vinaigrette.
- Add greens and strawberries to the top of the pancake. Garnish with mint, if desired.
- Serve immediately.