I can’t imagine Passover or Easter without boiled eggs.
I call this my Roy Lichtenstein egg.
If you have leftovers and can’t bear the thought of eating them plain, egg salad is a great option. If you don’t have leftover eggs, keep reading anyway. Egg salad is inexpensive and can be easily adapted to your palate or ethnic food craving. I’m not even going to price out the cost of egg salad. It’s just a bit more than the cost of the eggs, which is less $1 for two eggs, even if you buy organic, cage-free eggs from hens who were hopefully prancing merrily around the barnyard.
Hard-boiled eggs always remind me of spring.
As long as you mix peeled, chopped hard-boiled eggs, veggies/nuts or other crunch, “glue” to hold the egg salad together, and seasoning or flavor “extras”, in my book you’ve made egg salad. For crunch, I usually use carrots and celery chopped into very small pieces. (Some cooks refer to ingredients chopped in small regular-sized pieces as “diced”.) For the salad “glue”, I use mayonnaise. You can use any vegetable(s) for crunch and if you prefer yogurt instead of mayonnaise, that works too. Egg salad is easy because it doesn’t matter how small you chop the egg and if your veggies are not chopped as small or as regularly as you might like.
My basic ingredients for egg salad.
- I’ve found that eggs peel more easily if, when they are done cooking, you immediately place them under cold running water for a few minutes, and then let them sit in a bowl of ice and cold water until they are cold to the touch.
- They can then be peeled or refrigerated and peeled later.
- Dicing vegetable is easiest if you cut the vegetable in long strands first, then hold the strands together and cut them in the opposite direction, cross-wise.
Cutting vegetables so small is kind of tedious, but I like them that way in egg salad, so I do it.
Food safety alerts from our friends at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (They really do want to keep you safe from illness caused by improperly handled or cooked food!)
- Hard-boiled eggs should be eaten within one week. In other words, if the egg was hard-boiled more than a week ago, throw it out.
- Make sure you eat or refrigerate hard-boiled eggs or egg salad within two hours of preparing it. If a hard-boiled egg or egg salad has been sitting outside the refrigerator for longer than two hours, throw it out.
For egg salad flavor extras, you might go Greek-style with olives, feta – maybe with a bit of Dijon (French) mustard for added dash.
My extra flavorings are in party-mode. Don’t you love the fancy dish and glasses?
Or how about some parsley and herbs like chives and thyme?
The chives and thyme are from my herb garden on the deck. First of the season and I’m very excited to have them.
Another possibility is an Indian-style egg salad with curry and cashews. If you do this one, add the curry powder to the mayonnaise or yogurt before mixing those ingredients with the chopped eggs.
If your curry is hot, begin with a little and add more until you reach the desired level of spiciness. You can always add more, but if you start with too much and don’t realize it, you’ll be looking for a cool drink or a soft piece of bread to dampen the effects.
My favorite extra is simple – and we always have it around for hot dogs and hamburgers – sweet relish. I like to add salt and pepper “to taste”, after the egg salad is mixed, just to give it a little zip.
I love the sweet-and-sour taste of sweet pickle relish.
My proportions are not exact by any means. Roughly 2 eggs per person, a little less than ¼ cup of diced vegetables, and about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, plus whatever flavoring extras I am using.
If you prefer to keep your eggs whole, you can do deviled eggs instead. They are hard boiled eggs, halved with the yolks removed,
The yolk will slip out f the hard-boiled egg if you nudge it with a spoon.
mixed with other ingredients,
Fancy deviled eggs are made by putting the yolk “paste” back in swirls, using a pastry tube. Nice but a bit too Stepford Wives for me.
and put back into the cooked egg white. Usually, I make the yolk part of deviled eggs with a small dab of mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and a bit of mustard. Then I dust the top of the eggs with paprika (a reddish-colored spice that can be either hot or sweet) to give it a little color.
Hope you enjoy your post-holiday hard-boiled eggs. Life may not be all fun and games, but do enjoy your home-cooking adventures.