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I’m Andrea. I like to cook and bake and take photographs and write about life. Welcome to Bella Eats, where I share these passions of mine with you. I’m glad you’re here.

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Tuesday
Apr192011

the best egg salad...ever

I have big, big plans for picnics in 2011. Last summer, I think, Brian and I were cheated...busy lives kept us from really taking the time to relax on weekends and enjoy each other's company on weekday evenings. Life is still moving quickly, but this year we've adjusted our priorities. And picnics are close to the top of my new list. Nothing quite says summer like packing a basket of simple foods, folding up your favorite quilt, and driving out to the country. Or, if you really want to get your picnic quota up, simply walking out to the backyard and plopping down on a patch of shady grass. That can happen any old day, and this year I plan to make it happen quite often.

A few weeks ago I started a list. My 'foods fit for a picnic' list, as I call it. On this piece of gridded paper I placed edibles such as 'not-too-crumbly biscuits' and 'pulled pork' and 'spicy coleslaw'. Also, there were 'buttermilk cookies' and 'dill pickles' and 'egg salad'. These were all recipes that I wished to research and experiment with, to really nail down so that I would be prepared for outdoor eating at any point between April and October. As of this week, I've crossed one off.

For some reason I've always had a thing for egg salad. Most versions I've ever had have been very bland, and I am never fully satisfied after choosing it for a sandwich over deli meat or roasted veggies. Regardless, for all these years, I've told myself and others "I really love egg salad!" And so when it made an appearance on my 'foods fit for a picnic' list (because of course, egg salad belongs at a picnic) I immediately started thinking about creating a fantastic herbed pesto that I could drizzle over top. You know, to make the egg salad more interesting.

Armed with this Alice Waters recipe recommended by a friend, I set about preparing what was to be the ultimate picnic sandwich...egg salad drizzled with chive pesto served on artisan bread. I smeared one slice of bread with the pesto, piled a heap of egg salad on another slice, and debated how to photograph my creation. While debating, I sampled the salad...and kept eating. This salad is so delicious, the exact opposite of bland, that the beautiful, emerald-toned pesto was immediately packed up and stashed away. Chopped eggs tossed with mayonnaise mixed with fresh chives, dijon mustard, and capers requires no accompaniment aside from a thick slice of good bread. Its the capers that make the salad, truly. I'll never eat egg salad without capers again. That would be like having a whole summer go by without a picnic, and that just won't do.

Egg Salad (the best ever...)

from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

serves 4 (unless you're a big, big fan like me...then you might want to double the recipe)

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs*, at room temperature (if you can, please buy happy, organic, farmer-raised chicken eggs)
  • 2 tsp capers - rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives*
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley*
  • salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne 
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (Alice recommends homemade, which I'm sure is simple and lovely, but I used store-bought)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup diced celery

Method

  1. Cook the eggs in simmering water for 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and cool in a bowl of ice-cold water. Peel and chop the eggs coarsely.
  2. Mix together the rest of the ingredients. Add the chopped eggs and mix well.
  3. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

*Eggs from Double H Farm. Chives from the Local Food Hub. Parsley from Stephanie + Evan. Thank you!

 

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Reader Comments (20)

Ooo, it does indeed sound like the best ever egg salad. I like mine with very finely chopped gherkins as well, and particularly, mixed into potato salad. If only I could make it look as pretty!

04.19.2011 | Unregistered CommenterZo @ Two Spoons

I loooove gherkins in egg salad. The sour crunch is such a nice contrast to the creamy soft. My number one picnic food that I almost always make are individual quiches. You can put anything in them and bake them in muffin tins. They are great hot or cold and can be eaten with one hand. I think 1 handed eating is important in these social situations. Picnic blankets are not the most sturdy places to rest a bottle of beer or a wine glass and we like to have a tipple to wash down our picnics.

04.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBunny Eats Design

Oh I love Alice Waters. I even own that book as a matter of fact. How have I not gotten around to making her egg salad? Crazy! I made her chocolate cake last week and it was divine. You should try it. Thanks for inspiring us to make what sounds and looks like an amazing salad. Yum!

04.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

Love the sound of this egg salad. Your dishes are also lovely.

Egg salad and capers now there is an idea. I can't wait to try, thanks so much.

04.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMedifast Coupon

omg i love egg salad, definitely gonna try this out!!

xoxo,
F

Le Kiss Kiss- Click Here!

04.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrancesca

I love the idea of happy, organic, farmer-raised eggs :)

You have managed to make this egg salad look so incredibly delicious. I'm going to have to make it for a picnic soon if Spring ever arrives in Chicago (we had snow on Monday...sigh).

04.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterWhitney

This makes me anticipating for breakfast tomorrow! I'm going to make this!

04.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJun

I absolutely love egg salad. It is so great for picnics, in sandwhiches for school, or with steak and salad. It just is so good!

04.23.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLexi

Great photos and recipe! I was drooling over this post last week, and am now eating an egg sandwich for lunch. Thank you!

04.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiza

Okay, girl. You. Do. Not. Lie. I've been on a near constant search for a great egg salad recipe for years. All the ones I've tried, even Martha's!, have been good, but not great. They just seemed to be missing something so needless to say, I couldn't wait to try this one. I just made it today and it was truly incredible! FINALLY!!! Thank you so much, Andrea!! xoxo...anne

04.27.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHollandPhotoArts

All of my boiled Easter egg leftovers are gone, but I might need to make some more, because this looks delicious!

Cool salad. It looks perfect for a appetizer on top of some crispy bread, or just like a salad with some cheese sauce on top.

05.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

oh, you dear thing! i've a dozen rainbow eggs, leftover from easter, and a hankering for egg salad, which i've not made in donkey's years. this looks JUST the thing. hello, tomorrow's lunch!

05.4.2011 | Unregistered Commentermolly

Andrea your photography setup, lighting and depth of field is amazing. I'm inspired, and intrigued - have you got a studio at home? Do you collect serving wear for the shoots? Do you use natural lighting - if not what sort of flash do you use?
Likewise - your food is exquisite :) My mother and I are just in the process of planning my sister's baby shower. We have been inspired by Joe and Erin's! It was just stunning - of course the citrus cupcakes, but also the bunting.. the windmills - did you make those?
Sorry about the question overload! Thanks for the continuing-inspiring recipes and photography.

Christina

05.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Hi Christina! Thanks for your comment. I have a studio set up at home, but use mostly natural light for my images. I do collect serving, flatware, and linens, although I would love for my collection to be much larger! So glad you liked Joe and Erin's party...I did make the bunting and a friend made the windmills...both were pretty easy and we figured out how by google searching. Have fun! :)

05.12.2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea

Just made this egg salad for lunch. Super yummy! I used garlic chives that we had from our CSA share.

05.13.2011 | Unregistered Commenter@sajego

Looks like a great addition to any weekend barbecue!

05.25.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Valenty

This egg salad looks wonderful. Great pictures. Thanks for the post.

05.26.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAluma Wallet

Believe it or not, I found out about egg salad with capers in the U.S. Air Force! I had to ask what they were, and when I was told capers, I had to ask,"what are capers?" They almost fell over laughing! I've made egg salad with capers ever since... and that was 1987! (I'm sure I don't put the care and effort into my sandwiches, but they still taste great!)
Thank you for bringing back a great memory...

03.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterlaughingman

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