A Spring Awakening with Egg Salad’s Versatility
It’s not your school lunch egg salad world anymore. Eggs provide the canvas for you to explore the versatility from the basic to the exotic to create menu pleasing options for tea sandwiches or anytime of the day.
Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
Basic Egg Salad
Serves 4 to 6
- 6 large or extra-large eggs;
- 1 Tablespoon Hellman’s or Best Mayonnaise;
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Country Grain Mustard;
- ½ teaspoon dill weed;
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
Optional Substitutes for dillweed~ diced Black olives, Olive Tapenade, chopped Chives, herbs de Provençe, edible Rose Petals
- Place eggs in the bottom of a large pan. Fill with water to one or two inches above the eggs.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Continue boiling for ten minutes.
- Remove eggs into a new bowl filled with ice water.
- When eggshells are cool to the touch remove one egg at a time.
- Roll on a paper towel until the shell is fully cracked all the way around.
- Under running water remove the shell from the hallow end, peeling away until all of the shell is removed.
- Once all eggs are peeled place into a hand grater or chop with a knife to desired texture.
- Place into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix together.
For wetter egg salad add more mayonnaise to taste.
Dill Coddled Egg Yolk
1/4 teaspoon olive oil; 2 large or extra-large eggs;1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dill weed; Salt pepper to taste.
Recipe Notes~ Any herbs and spices of your choice may be substituted for the dill. If you do not have an egg coddler you can use a small mason jar with lid, or a ramekin covered with foil.
Brush the inside of the egg coddler with olive oil until the bottom and all sides are thinly coated. Pour out any excess oil. Separate the eggs whites and yolks into separate bowls. Discard the egg whites or set aside for another use. Add the dill weed, salt and pepper to the bowl of egg yolks. Gently stir together until blended. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the egg coddler. Tightly seal the lid.
Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Lower the egg coddler into the boiling water. Allow the egg yolks to boil for ten minutes. Turn off the heat. Allow the egg coddler to sit in the hot water for two more minutes. Remove the covered egg coddler from the water and allow to cool down until the egg coddler is cool to the touch to handle.
Once cooled, open the lid. Remove the hardened egg yolk from the coddler. Finely grate or chop the egg yolk. Set aside grated cooked egg yolk. Note: You can store grated egg yolk in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Excellent to use as garnishment for salads.
Preparing Colored Egg Whites:
2 options are provided on how to cook the eggs.
Option 1: Cooking in an Egg Coddler~6 large eggs FDA food colors of your choice Equipment: 4 egg coddlers wax paper.
Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks into separate bowls. Stir the contents of each bowl. Place the egg whites into an egg coddler (about 3 egg whites per coddler), and then place the egg yolks into a separate egg coddler (about 3 egg yolks per coddler).
To the egg white coddlers only, add one drop at a time of food coloring until the desired color appears and stir to blend. Place the lids on the coddlers filled with egg whites and egg yolks then set the filled egg coddlers into a medium-sized saucepan. Cover with cold water. Set the saucepan over medium heat and bring the water to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, set the timer for 12 minutes to cook the eggs. When the time has completed, remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully remove the egg coddlers from the hot pan with silicone mitts. or a skewer to lift out of the pan.
Place the egg coddlers into a second pan filled with cold water and allow the eggs to cool down. Once the eggs have cooled, use a flat edge knife to run the blade gently around the edges to remove the egg whites and yolks onto wax paper on a flat surface. Set aside the cooked egg yolks to use later.
Use the larger holes of a hand-held grater to grate the colored egg whites. Set the grated egg whites separated by colors into individual bowls and set aside.
Note: As another decorative option, hard-boiled egg whites can be cut into 1/2-inch slices. Then use cookie cutters to make shapes out of the egg whites.
Option 2: Hard Boiled Eggs: 6 large eggs; 1/2 cup water; 1 teaspoon white vinegar; 10-20 drops of FDA food color; Equipment: qty 9 (1 cup sized) small glass bowls; paper towels.
Directions for egg coloring solution: In a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil and remove from heat. While the water is boiling, lay out some newspaper, paper towels, butcher paper or aluminum foil to protect the surface you will be working on to dye and decorate the eggs. Add 1/2 cup boiling water to each individual bowl. Then add 1 teaspoon vinegar per bowl and food coloring drops. Add one drop at a time of food coloring (10-20 drops) until the desired color level is achieved in each different bowl. After the egg yolks have been colored, remaining egg dye colors can be used to make hand dyed and decorated Easter eggs.
Under cold running water peel the shells off the cooled hard-boiled eggs. Slice the eggs in half then remove and reserve the egg yolks.
Use the larger holes of a hand-held grater to grate the egg whites onto wax paper. Separate the grated egg whites into 2-3 small bowls. Add one tablespoon of selected egg coloring solution to each separate bowl.
Gently toss the grated egg whites until the desired color is reached. Add more egg coloring if needed. Transfer each batch of colored egg whites into a small clean bowl that is lined with paper towels for draining off the excess color.
Assembling Open-faced Tea Sandwiches: Use a large circle shaped cookie cutter (or another shape of choice) to cut out a shape in a slice of bread. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on the shaped bread. Top the slice of bread with the colored, grated egg whites of your choice.
Place the cooked egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl and mash up with a fork. (As an alternative you can grate the cooked egg yolks into a bowl.) Select a small, shaped cookie cutter and spoon a heaping teaspoon of egg yolk into the shape and press down. Layer the pressed egg yolk shape on top of the colored, grated egg whites. Note: You will have leftover egg yolks that can be discarded or mashed up with some mayonnaise and mustard for a snack to spread on crackers or celery. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top of each sandwich.
To serve, place open-faced tea sandwiches on a platter. For garnishment options watercress, arugula or cooked egg yolk crumbles can be placed around edges of platter. Optional garnishments to the egg salad may include minced olives, fresh dill or caraway seeds sprinkled on top of the sandwiches.
More Specialty Egg Recipes:
©Ellen Easton 2023.