Throughout our 8th annual Mother’s Day Issue, we’ve met multiple fashion families — model Bonnie Chen and her mom; designer Laura Vassar Brock and her son — but what about multiple generations of a single family? Here, we get to know one such legendary clan, the Missonis. Founded by Ottavio and Rosita Missoni in 1953, the company is currently helmed by her daughter Angela; to this day, each fashion show closes with various members of the family bounding down the runway for a finale walk. The message: It’s a family affair.
And food is a big part of their lives. You can get an intimate view into how they live — by experiencing how they eat — in the new book, The Missoni Family Cookbook (Assouline), by Francesco Maccapani Missoni, Angela’s son. “I’m not a shy person, per se,” he writes in the introduction, “but growing up with a vociferous and boisterous family, with two sisters and a forceful mother, I often bolted from all the feminine action to hang out with the guys —particularly my dad, who was often cooking, so the kitchen became my place to be.”
Here, recipes from the book — just in time for your Mother’s Day celebrations.
Salted Cucumbers with Yogurt Tzatziki
Serves 6 to 8
5 medium cucumbers, peeled and grated medium fine
1 clove garlic
18 oz plain Greek yogurt
1 small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
In a bowl, season the cucumbers with sea salt.
Peel and cut the garlic clove in half lengthwise, discard the germ, and finely grate the garlic.
Drain the cucumbers. In a mixing bowl, combine them with the yogurt, mint, and garlic. Stir well to combine and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve chilled.
Poached Fish with Mayonnaise
2 white onions, peeled
2 stalks celery
1 tsp white peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 (2¼–2½-lb) whole sea bass, gutted, scaled and cleaned
For the mayonnaise (makes 1¼ cups):
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2–3 cups olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Make the mayonnaise: In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil in a fine, steady stream until the mixture thickens. The yolks will be completely emulsified once the mixture binds and lifts from the sides of the bowl. At that moment, slowly whisk in the lemon juice and sea salt.
Make the fish: Place a fish poacher across two burners of the stove, or on the middle oval burner if you have one, over medium heat. In the bottom part of the fish poacher, combine the onions, carrots, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves, and cloves and cover with enough water to level with them. Bring to a boil; when the water reaches a rolling boil, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Rinse the sea bass with cold water and pat dry. Affix the poacher attachment on top of the vegetables and lay the sea bass on top of it. Place over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the fish is steamed through. (If needed, add a little water to top off the broth.)
Transfer the fish to a clean work surface. Peel and discard the skin and carefully fillet the fish. Season with sea salt and serve warm with the maionese on the side.
You can find fresh sea bass larger than 1 lb at your local farmers market or from a fishmonger; doing so is recommend for freshness and taste.
Angela never uses extra-virgin olive oil to prepare the mayonnaise and prefers to use a milder,
refined olive oil, or peanut or corn oil.
Piedmontese-Style Peaches with Amaretto
Serves 8 to 10
1/2 stick unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the dish, at room temperature
7 yellow peaches, halved and pitted
14 Amaretti di Saronno cookies
4¼ oz dark chocolate, for grating
1 handful finely chopped fresh mint, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Lightly grease the bottom of a 10 × 8–inch baking dish with butter and line it with the peach halves face up in a single layer.
In a bowl, crush the Amaretti di Saronno cookies. Roughly grate in the dark chocolate and add the 1/2 stick of butter. Using your hands, mix together the ingredients.
Scoop a generous teaspoonful of the mixture into the heart of each peach, in place of the pit. Bake for 15–20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Garnish with the mint and serve warm.