Egg salad is something Rachel and I have enjoyed for a long time, but for some reason never made. But the other day we had friends coming, and the situation called for a light lunch, and for some reason egg salad presented itself to my brain as the perfect solution. It’s easy to make, doesn’t have to be particularly heavy or unhealthy, and it’s delicious. Also, egg salad ranks as an easy vegetarian sandwich, which is a subject on which I’ve spent some good time trying to brainstorm.
My only disclaimer is that I am not an expert on boiling eggs. I usually do my research (read: 17 tabs of Google results open at once) and figure out how to best tackle a weird skill like this, but for whatever reason this one perplexes me and I always just wing it. I can tell you that 10-15 minutes of vigorous-but-not-ridiculous simmering followed by a full cool-down result in a “definitely boiled” status for any egg in question, but I’m sure that’s not the perfect way to do it. I think Alton says to bake them, which sounds weird but is probably right.
Anyway, other than that, there is just the mayonnaise issue that you run into with all of these so-called “salads” we sneak into our lunches. The usual recipe for salads of the egg, chicken, tuna, potato varieties and their brethren is: “Take something that you can picture yourself eating a lot of, and mash it up into little pieces. Glop in as much mayonnaise as you can fit and still have the pieces touch each other, and then pretend you didn’t do this step so you can enjoy your lunch!” Obviously that’s a sad state of affairs, and doesn’t fit well with the vague “we probably shouldn’t eat so much awful food” mantra we try to have here on the site.
So my solution is yogurt. I like to use plain, unsweetened yogurt mixed with a little dijon mustard and whatever spices match the dish you’re making. It doesn’t taste quite as “rich”, but you still get that great creamy texture and a pretty neutral flavor. And, even if you use whole milk yogurt, you’re nowhere near the fattiness of the half-jar of mayonnaise you’d put in instead. If you’re not sure you’d like the yogurt idea, start with using it as half the mayo, and see if you can tell much of a difference. Then report back here and tell me I was right.
Anywho, egg salad:
Egg Salad Recipe
1 stalk celery
1/2 small red onion
handful of chives or garlic chives
1/2 cup (or so) of unflavored, unsweetened yogurt
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp rice or white wine vinegar
salt, pepper, paprika to taste (probably about 1/2 tsp each)
Boil your eggs according to what you think works best. Set aside to cool.
When they’re cooled, crack the shells and remove from the (hopefully) hardened egg beneath. Rinse briefly to make sure there are no shell pieces left on the eggs.
Finely mince your celery, onion and chives.
Scoop the yolk out of half the eggs, and dice the remaining whites and eggs to the size of your choice.
Mix the scooped-out yolks, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, and spices together in a separate bowl, and mix into the eggs and chopped vegetables. Add more yogurt if needed if it seems too dry.
And that’s it! Serve on a sandwich or on top of a salad or something. It’s delicious. Have a great lunch, foodies!