Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Egg Salad: A walk down someone else's memory lane

I get excited for a quinoa salad. My mouth waters when I think about gorging on chocolate soufflé cupcakes with mint cream. And I will sometimes spend an entire day at work dreaming about going home to make risotto with wild mushroom sauce.

But egg salad?

It just doesn’t get me hot and bothered and hungry – which, incidentally, would explain why it has taken me two months to post this recipe that I adapted from the NY Times.

I like egg salad and certainly enjoy eating it while in the act, but it usually isn’t the type of thing that moves me to “ooh” and “aah” and rub my belly in satisfaction. Maybe it’s because it seems so ordinary – a mundane occupant of a brown bag lunch, or a lazy dish at a summer BBQ. It doesn’t seem special because it’s something that everyone is familiar with, and has, most likely, grown up eating. (If they weren’t a picky child like me who snubbed eggs until her senior year of college.)

Even so, when I made this jazzed up egg salad sandwich for lunch a couple months ago, I didn’t just eat what could reasonably fit between two slices of toasted whole wheat bread. After I’d cleaned my plate, I went back to the kitchen and forked up the remainder of the salad in my mixing bowl.

And then I may have licked it clean.

It was the type of behavior that I usually reserve for chocolate chip cookie crumbs or the little kernels of quinoa that stick to my serving spoon – not for egg salad, the saddest sack in the deli case (aside from jello).

But, ultimately, there’s something kind of delightful about eating an egg salad sandwich past the age of ten. Something sort of intoxicating about the act of enjoying a food that most people associate with their childhood or, in my case, someone else’s childhood.

Either way, this grown-up egg salad recipe is an excellent way to take a stroll down memory lane. I highly recommend pairing it with a cool glass of too-sweet Country Time lemonade. And, if available, a chocolate chip cookie for dessert – crumbs included.

Egg and Herb Salad
Adapted from the NY Times
Makes 1 sandwich with leftovers that can be eaten straight from the bowl

2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill
½ tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ celery stalk, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped and soaked for five minutes in cold water, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons capers
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Greek nonfat yogurt
½ small garlic clove, minced

To hard-boil the eggs, place in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cover the pan tightly, and turn off the heat. Let sit for 12-14 minutes (depending on how well you like your eggs). Fill a bowl with ice water, drain the eggs and chill immediately in the ice water.

Combine the chopped eggs, herbs, celery, capers, and red onion in a large bowl, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, mustard and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with the egg mixture.

Serve over a bed of arugula or on toasted whole wheat bread for a sandwich.


Esi said...

I quite love this egg salad recipe. I think I need to make it again...

H. C. said...

Egg salad is a solid go to, but yeah, I agree that it's not a "Ooh" and "Aah" kind of food. But the NY Times' version wouldn't float my boat either as I'm a "less is more" school when it comes to protein-y, mayo-y salads, which in this case would boil down to the eggs, mayo, mustard and some cracked peppercorns. I don't mind if veggies, etc. are in the sandwich, but would prefer that they're not in the egg salad itself.

Jenn said...

You know it's been a while since I've had myself a good egg salad sandwich. The last time I had it, it wasn't memorable at all. Hopefully this time around it will be.

Marie said...

Wow, that is some recipe. An egg salad that demands to be taken seriously!

Anna A. said...

I very much approve of this salad and the greek yogo in lieu of mayo. Plus one for Diana. I can't believe you've snubbed the chicken embryos for so long!

Ashley said...

you know, egg salad is something that i've still managed to live without for 26 years. am i missing out on something special?

Anisha said...

I should make this recipe for egg salad over buying the tubs of "ranchero" egg salad at TJ's!

Diana said...

Esi - It was a rather tasty take on the incredible edible egg...

HC - Hah, yeah you definitely wouldn't like this version then! I like the idea of peppercorns though... bet that really spices things up!

Jenn - I think that's part of the problem! It isn't memorable! Maybe add curry?

Marie - Precisely! How can you not take an egg salad served over arugula seriously?

Anna - Please don't ever call them chicken embryos again. Sincerly, Me.

Ashley - Wait... you've never had egg salad?!?! But you are the one who introduced me to omellettes!!

Anisha - Yes, you really and truly should. ;)

Kung Food Panda said...

This is one complex egg salad. I love egg salad, and one of my fav will always be Euro Pane here in Pasadena :)

Diana said...

Danny - Europane's egg salad is definitely on my "to-eat" list. I spy a Pasadena trip in my future!