Some cooks, food enthusiasts and food writers consider the humble egg to be nature’s most perfect food. They argue that the self-contained little protein packs are versatile enough to create sauces (hollandaise for example), mayonnaise, help thicken custards and give us the satisfying filling to quiches and tarts. At a time when many professional food industry insiders are going back to “simpler” ways of preparing and consuming foods, the egg is one such ingredient that lends itself to almost nostalgic impressions.
Coincidentally, I had some hard boiled eggs left over from Easter recently (my in-laws like to boil and decorate a batch and play a funny little game around Easter dinner of “whose shell is the hardest.” Two opposing players “tap” the ends of their eggs; the looser is the one with the broken shell. I was only victorious once in this delicate battle). Looking at my four shell-cracked hard boiled eggs, I decided it was time to make a killer egg salad sandwich MY way. The addition of Dijon mustard and cayenne pepper keep things interesting and since the flavours mingle overnight, by lunch time the next day, you’ll have a wonderfully comforting and tasty panini sandwich.
Egg Salad with a Kick
- 4 hard boiled eggs (Alternatively, you can cook them in an egg cooker)
- 1/3 cup of mayonnaise (or less if you prefer)
- 1 tbsp of good quality Dijon mustard
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Good pinch of cayenne pepper
- A few springs of freshly chopped parsley and/or chives
*Additions if you like: chopped baby gherkin pickles, diced celery, cucumber slices or black pitted olive slices, or your favourite chutney- mango perhaps, in which case you’d delete the use of Dijon mustard.
Shell and break the eggs apart using a fork and mix in mayo and mustard until incorporated. I like a chunky egg salad – not a fine paste the way some people do- so mix until you’re happy with the texture. Add salt and peppers to taste (I like things a bit spicy, so I add more cayenne. Use your discretion) and your fresh herbs. Add any extras if you like, or keep it clean and simple- up to you.
I consumed my salad picnic style – I bought a great multi-grain loaf, cut up cucumber spears, cherry tomatoes, and a few roasted turkey slices and had a fantastic spread at work. A few slices of Italian Friulano cheese and some grapes rounded out my mini-buffet. This was one of the best brown-bagged lunches I’d had in a LONG time and best of all, it only took minutes to assemble. Now that’s what I call living well!
A complementary dip for those veggies would be my version of the irresistable feta, sour cream and pepper dip, known in Europe as Liptauer. Enjoy!
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