Sunday, July 17, 2011

Simple Egg Salad

Over a weekend in late May, I spent Saturday frolicking around Long Island with friends to celebrate a dear girlfriend's 29th birthday. After PRing on that morning's 10k, my (real) day started treats from Amy's Bread (my favorite? A almond and dried fruit-studded granola scone) and Bailey's spiked-coffees. But having already been up for hours, my appetite quickly came back and left me famished merely two hours later (thinking bubbly en route didn't help). Picnic-time yet?

At our first vineyard, after a couple glasses of vino (and two bottles of my favorite, a lightly sweet, fruity Cabernet Sauvignon Rose), an elaborate picnic lunch was pulled out, featuring two favorites I'd been craving all week -- and another favorite I haven't thought about since Easter. Clearly, the stars were aligned in my favor.

What may you ask had my mouth watering? Pickles, first of all (hey, the girl had run 6.2 miles at a 9-minute mile clip that am... and walked a mile or two). I'll blame my imbalanced electrolytes (pickle juice does wonders for that. A friend referred me to the wonders of pickles, and I haven't looked back yet. Not sure of the actual chemistry there, but Bubbies' bread and butter chips do wonders for me). Next up, deli-style cole slaw (my great grandmother made the most amazing cole slaw, and I've been craving it now for a week. Sadly, we don't have the real recipe, but a couple of palates determined to re-create it. A family member has made a good attempt, I just need to give it a whirl myself, now).

Then, the icing on the cake: Egg salad sandwiches on croissants. Not necessarily something I'd eat on a daily basis, but when I feel I deserve something a bit special and indulgent, it's just the thing. This classic favorite is perfect for making the night before and sandwiching it between two slices of country white bread before sending it off with your young kids in their lunchbox. Watching your waist? Skip the bread and serve it open-faced or atop a bed of greens. Feeling adventurous? Try making the egg salad with lemon and hummus or miso and toasted sesame seeds for something Asian-inspired.

Egg Salad

Whether you’re three or 30, there is something comforting about a cool and creamy egg salad sandwich. Making egg salad is simple to do if you’ve got eggs and mayonnaise around the house. It’s also supremely versatile.

This is a recipe for a plain-Jane version. I like to add finely chopped celery and jalapeño for a kick (and green tint). Others will add mustard or pickles — even truffle oil! There is no right or wrong addition — well, bacon would be good, though peanut butter… OK, maybe there are some additions that just don’t work.

What’s your favorite way to dress up egg salad?

2 hard-boiled eggs
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (you can cut it with half Greek yogurt for a lighter, tangy salad)
Salt, to taste
Salad greens (optional)
2 slices whole wheat bread (optional)

In a medium bowl, lightly mash the egg until in ½-inch chunks. Add the celery and jalapeño and mix well. Add the mayonnaise to taste and mash well. Season to taste. Serve alone, atop a salad, or between two slices of bread

Serves 1

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