Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Egg Salad In Spring

Isn't it said that eggs are the perfect food? I couldn't agree more. I crave perfectly poached eggs and salivate at the thought of them softly scrambled. Strata. Custard. Pudding. Do we even need to go there?

Eggs, a traditional symbol of spring, seem to be perfectly celebrated just as the weather begins to warm. A sun-starved Chicagoan, adding eggs in the form of salad to my menu rotation is perfect - even if it still may accompany a bowl of soup. When asked to do a demo at the Community Winter Market last Saturday, I focused on farmstead eggs and updated a classic salad.

If you've never had farmstead eggs, you must. While many foods fall victim to the wily ways of marketing, in my mind eggs suffer greatly. The slew of terms added to egg cartons mislead shoppers and perpetuate factory farming. I could write forever on the ins and outs of selecting eggs for your family. The most direct advice? Seek out local egg producers and taste the difference.

Pedestrian egg salad? No way! This recipe simple, fresh and mayo-free salad is the time to use wonderfully fruity olive oil you've been hording. A handful of fresh herbs, peeking through a blanket of leaves in the yard (if you're lucky) or from a pot purchased at your market. For the tasting, I served the salad on tiny toasted baguette rounds, compliments of Orchard Patisserie, then topped it with a few leaves of baby greens from Erewhon Farm. At home, serve as an open faced sandwich with a big fluffy pile of greens.

Dinner's ready and spring is here!

Warm Egg Salad with Herbs and Olive Oil
a nourish original

4 hard boiled eggs-still warm, peeled, yolks and white separated
1/4 cup red onion, finely minced
3 T. fruity extra virgin olive oil
2 T. chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, basil or tarragon are lovely)
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 slices quality Italian bread, toasted
2 oz. arugula or mixed baby greens

Coarsely chop the egg whites in to rough pieces and place in a bowl. Coarsely crumble the egg yolks (or mash with a fork in a separate bowl) and add to the egg whites.

Lightly toss the chopped egg mixture with olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and ground black pepper. Stir with a fork to gently blend until finely chopped portion of egg yolk blends with the olive oil to create a light but creamy dressing. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Spread the still warm salad onto the toasted bread and top with greens. If desired, add a light drizzle of olive oil used in the egg salad to garnish.

Serves 2 generously.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I bought some of the eggs at the Green Market last Saturday and they are STILL sitting in my refrigerator...shame on me!!! But every night before I go to bed, I'm thinking about them and what I'm going to create! Your egg salad was amazing, so I think I should make that today.