Monday, June 6, 2011

Spring Egg Salad

There is absolutely nothing fancy about egg salad. I don't care how you dress it up, whether you smoosh caviar or sriracha or gold leaf into it, or serve it on baguettes or those fancy crackers with the seeds - it's still egg, smashed with something creamy. It is peasant food. And I love it.

Egg salad is one of those things that people have a very immediate reaction to - you either fancy it, or think it's totally disgusting. No one likes to have people wrinkle their nose at your lunch - it's just not nice, and kind of ruins the experience. As such, I spent years avoiding my true love for it, refusing to pack it in my school lunch or order it at the deli.

But you know what? I don't care anymore! I am emerging from the egg salad closet, head held high, proclaiming for all the world to hear - "yum."

One thing I like about egg salad is how flexible it is - you can use mayo or yogurt, mix in mustard or chives or walnuts, smear it on bread or crackers or dip into it with pretzels. It's very fickle-person friendly. Also, it's filling, and when chasing a school full of teenagers, and a house full of toddler, it's easy to forget to eat, so your meals should be as filling as possible.

I find myself making egg salad weekly these days. We go through a lot of eggs in our house - almost two dozen a week, often more. When picky toddler syndrome strikes, Miles can always be counted on to devour an omelet, and Jesse likes to take boiled eggs to work as a snack - or maybe to ward off sensitive-nosed students when he wants a little peace and quiet. Since it stores well in the fridge, I make a batch with a half dozen eggs all at once, and then it's there, waiting for me, lovingly.

My last egg salad was especially pleasant - I tossed in some diced onion, some fresh chives from the garden, and pulled up our first couple radishes and tossed those in, too. They gave it a bright little crunch, and also looked mighty pretty. Which is important.

A couple notes on egg salad:
1. Older eggs peel more easily. I don't know why, it's probably scientific, but they do.
2. Peeling eggs when they're hot is a lot easier than after they're cool. Also for some sciency reason I don't know.
3. Don't smash the eggs up too small. We don't want egg puree (blech).
4. Start with a tiny bit of binder (mayo, yogurt, etc) and then add on. Soupy = gross.

Spring Egg Salad
Fills 3-4 sandwiches
6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
3ish Tbs mayo
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 shallots (or 3 Tbs onions) minced
6 or so small radishes, chopped
small handful fresh chives, minced

Smash everything together in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spread on toast and top with some arugula or sliced tomato for extra deliciousness.


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