Mother’s Day inspired me to make a brunch celebrating the food culture for my Korean mom and my European mother-in-law. I love eating homemade cucumber kimchi at my mom’s house in Los Angeles. It’s refreshing and spicy and I can eat it all day long with a side of rice. I also love to eat poached eggs with toast and fresh herbs whenever I visit my in-laws in Pennsylvania.
Taking from both these dishes, I made grilled crostinis topped with spicy grilled cucumbers and poached eggs, drizzled with a mint and parsley vinaigrette. I think both mothers would enjoy eating this dish come Sunday!
Here’s how to make a European-Seoul Mother’s Day Brunch, or as I like to call these delicious open-faced sandwiches, European-Seoul!
I made this dish as an experiment only for myself and Ron to eat, so please poach as many eggs per guests you have for Mother’s Day brunch. I only poached two for this test and grilled half the cucumber because I hate wasting food and can only eat so much in one sitting!
- one large cucumber
- 2 eggs or more for poaching
- 1 lemon, zest of whole and juice of half
- 1 sprig of fresh mint, chopped
- 3 sprigs of parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of red chili pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup or more of light extra virgin olive oil
- one pinch of freshly-ground sea salt
- one baguette, sliced
Prepare and wash cucumber, lemon, parsley and mint.
Slice the cucumber into halves. Use a mandolin on the thickest setting (if it’s a choice from 1 being the thinnest slice to 3 for thickest, set to 3). Slice the cucumber the long way and repeat until all the cucumber is sliced lengthwise, as in the photo below.
Next put the cucumbers in a nonreactive bowl and drizzle with rice vinegar. Sprinkle on the red chili pepper flakes and a pinch of sea salt. Add a sparing drizzle of light extra virgin olive oil. Mix all the ingredients together so the cucumbers are evenly coated and set aside.
To create the mint and parsley vinaigrette, combine the chopped mint and parsley into a nonreactive bowl. Zest the lemon into the bowl.
Squeeze half the lemon for juice into the bowl. Add a pinch of sea salt.
Now, drizzle in olive oil while whisking all the ingredients together to emulsify. Set aside.
Now slice the baguette into 1.5 – 2 inch thick slices. Place your indoor grill on the stove top and set the front and back burner to medium-high. On the rear of the indoor grill, drizzle olive oil to grill the baguette slices. When the grill is hot, add the baguette slices to the rear and cucumber slices on the front.
Grill the cucumbers for about one minute on each side until browned. Grill the bread for about three minutes on each side until the edges are browned. Remove from heat and place on a plate before plating it formally.
Now, plate the grilled baguette slices, grilled spicy cucumbers and poached eggs on a plate so your moms can make their own open-faced sandwiches. Serve with a side of mint and parsley vinaigrette (whisk to emulsify, as it tends to separate if you let it sit too long) for topping.
We really enjoyed this dish. It’s both flavorful and light. European-Seoul would go great with a bellini or a cold maekju! If you prefer less spice on your cucumbers, then add less red chili flakes or none at all. Enjoy, and have a great Mother’s Day, everyone!