19 June 2012
Egg salad in butter lettuce boats
The main themes of this weekend were heat and hunger. We really needed a full meal, but we also needed to keep our house as cool as possible. Egg salad seemed like the perfect solution.
Clearly, there are hundreds of egg salad variations out there. My main requirement is that there be plenty of dill and a good amount of mustard for a spicy kick. Seriously, dill is by far the best herb ever with eggs. If you haven't tried it, you are definitely in for a treat.
Egg salad with radish and dill
Hard-boil eggs by your method of choice. Since it was on the verge of too hot in our house, I used the "let the eggs sit there" method--I put my eggs in a pot, covered them with water, threw on the pot's lid, brought everything to a boil, turned off the heat, and let the whole shebang sit for ten minutes. When the time was up, I poured off the water and covered the finished eggs in cold water. Voila--perfectly hard-boiled eggs with less heat suffusing the kitchen!
Assemble your egg salad. The proportions are up to you and your tastes. I used six eggs, four French breakfast radishes, one green onion, an entire 8-inch Armenian cucumber, maybe 1/3 cup of mayo, and a good tablespoon of mustard, plus as much dill as I could stand to chop--probably 1/3 of a standard bunch. Simply chop everything up, mix it all together in a large bowl, and check for seasonings.
When you're ready to eat, core a head of butter lettuce and separate the leaves. Wash and dry well. Try not to just eat all the lettuce leaves out of the sink by yourself, ok?
Serve your egg salad and lettuce boats with a couple spoons, and let everyone stuff individual leaves with as much salad as they like. If you have kids, you should probably make the boats yourself, to avoid massive egg salad drips--but otherwise, I think it's the most fun to just hang out and make your food as you eat it.
Fresh, perfect lettuce is clearly an ideal boat for egg salad, but you can use all kinds of other vegetables as well. Red, orange, or yellow pepper wedges taste great with creamy egg salad; radish or daikon slices provide a spicy contrast, while cucumber slices create a more neutral background; darker greens like chard or collard leaves can create a full, intense, and iron-rich wrap. It's all good.
Eat with a pitcher of iced tea or a bottle of chilled rosé, and a couple bowls of whatever fruit is freshest. Hooray! Summer!