Make Ahead

Hard Cooked Eggs, Lemon (or Lime) Aioli and Dukkah

May 23, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Makes about 1/2 cup of aioli
Author Notes

Historians place the advent of the canapé back in the 1920's or perhaps a few years before. The classic canapé starts with a slice of toasted bread or puff pastry, followed by a spread, followed by another ingredient, and then topped with a garnish. Cookbooks from the 1940's and 50's show that many canapés were quite elaborate. (James Beard wrote a delightful book on hors d'oeuvres in the early 40's that's now available digitally, for you canapé and/or Beard enthusiasts out there. But I digress!)

This 21st century update can be made from a handful of pantry ingredients on short notice. I skip the fancy piping that was all the rage when I was a kid back in the 1970's. Instead, we toast sliced ovals of rustic bread, slather them with a flavorful aioli, layer on a slice of hard cooked egg followed by a bit more aioli and several fat pinches of dukkah. If you have some leftover dukkah, well, lucky you. Try it on a fried egg and bacon sandwich, or on hummus. Enjoy!! ;o) - AntoniaJames —AntoniaJames

Test Kitchen Notes

I made the canape version of this recipe and oh, was it divine! I couldn't assemble the canapes fast enough for my family. The combination of eggs, aioli and dukkah is terrific. AntoniaJames' dukkah spice mix is really special. My husband lived in Jerusalem and the smell and taste transported him back. I used pumpkin seeds for it and love that variation. I am sprinkling dukkah on everything now ... tomato sandwiches, roasted fingerlings, and even on my morning oatmeal which made a delicious savory porridge. I'll be making it on a regular basis! - BlueKaleRoad —BlueKaleRoad

What You'll Need
  • The Lemon or Lime Aioli
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Yolk of one large egg, which is at room temperature (This is an important detail.)
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon or lime juice, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons coarse brown mustard (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup of tasty olive oil (I’m partial to the California arbequinas.) or less, to taste
  • The Canapés, Deviled Eggs and Dukkah
  • Hard cooked eggs, peeled
  • Thin baguettes of French, sourdough or artisanal bread
  • Aioli, to taste
  • 2 heaping tablespoons raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons lightly roasted pumpkin seeds (or, more traditionally,¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed, or roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon grains of paradise (or 1/2 teaspoon nice quality black peppercorns)
  • Pinch or two of flaky sea salt, to taste
  1. The Lemon or Lime Aioli
  2. Mash the garlic with the salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Put the mashed garlic in a bowl wide enough easily to accommodate a large whisk.
  3. Drop in the egg yolk, 2 teaspoons of the lemon or lime juice, and the water (and mustard, if using). Whisk vigorously.
  4. Continue to whisk while adding a few drops of oil at a time. If you put a folded tea towel under your bowl, it will keep it from jumping around while both your hands are busy with this step.
  5. Add single drops of oil at a steady rate as you continue to whisk. Once about 1/3 of the oil has been incorporated, and you’ve whisked a good long time (and the fragrant yellow stuff in front of you has gotten nice and thick), it’s okay to drizzle the oil at a faster rate - a slow, but light stream - as you continue whisking.
  6. Keep this up until all of oil is incorporated, and the mixture is fairly thick. Test for salt and lemon or lime juice and add more, if necessary, to taste.
  7. Refrigerate immediately and use within a few days, at most.
  8. I hope you like this. Yours truly, AntoniaJames ;o)
  9. N.B. I use the basic ratios described in Michael Ruhlman's "Ratio" for this aioli.
  1. The Canapés, Deviled Eggs and Dukkah
  2. TO MAKE THE CANAPES: Slice the eggs lengthwise. You should get three or four slices.
  3. Then slice the baguette, cutting at an angle that will yield ovals about the size of your cooked egg slices.
  4. Toast the slices of bread. While still warm, slather with aioli, then layer on a slice of hard cooked egg.
  5. Gently spread on each egg slice another good dab of aioli.
  6. Then, sprinkle generously with dukkah. (See steps 9-14, below.)
  7. TO MAKE THE DEVILED EGGS: Slice the eggs in half lengthwise.
  8. Remove the yolks, press them through a fine strainer, and mix with enough aioli to give it a consistency similar to that of a creamy mashed potato.
  9. Fill the cavities in the egg whites first with a small pinch of dukkah and then with the yolk and aioli spread. Generously sprinkle more dukkah on top. (I spread the filling over as much of the surface of the egg white half as I can, so that I can get more dukkah on each piece.)
  10. TO MAKE THE DUKKAH: Toast the sesame seeds in a small heavy skillet. Remove and partially crush using a mortar and pestle, just enough to release a bit of fragrance.
  11. Finely chop the toasted pumpkin seeds (or hazelnuts). When using pumpkin seeds, I just pulse them two or three times in my electric spice mill, and don't worry about the few left whole.
  12. Toast the cumin seeds and the coriander seeds, separately, in a small heavy skillet just until fragrant. Watch carefully, and remove immediately, lest they burn.
  13. Crush the seeds using a mortar and pestle, or by pulsing an electric spice grinder. They should be coarse, and not fine.
  14. Combine all of the ingredients in the mortar and pestle and pound lightly a few times. Give the blend a few final good stirs, to combine. It will smell divine.
  15. Store any leftover dukkah in the refrigerater, tightly covered.
  16. Enjoy!! ;o)
  17. N.B. A more casual treat is simply to slather a bit of aioli on a piece of homemade sandwich or other bread, then cover with a layer of hard cooked eggs, then a few generous pinches of dukkah, and then another slice of bread. Voila! The tastiest egg sandwich you will have eaten in a long time.
  18. The basic ingredient combination for the dukkah, and the brilliant suggestion to use it with hard cooked eggs, come from Arabella Boxer in “The Spice Book.” I’ve changed the ratios and substituted grains of paradise for peppercorns, and pumpkin seeds instead of nuts or garbanzos. If you don't have grains of paradise on your spice shelf, no worries - use peppercorns to taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mar Pom
    Mar Pom
  • Droplet
  • Sagegreen
  • BlueKaleRoad

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

31 Reviews

Mar P. February 14, 2015
Please, I beg of you, Its ALIOLI, from Catalan: ALL (Garlic) i (and) OLI (oil)
Droplet November 25, 2011
These are great little canapes, AJ. I like finding new ways for the humble boiled egg. Anothe good way to combine eggs with dukkah if you really like it in generous amounts is to brush the outside surface of the peeled egg with some sort of a thin binder (aioli should work) and roll it whole in dukkah. Then either segment or have it as is.
Sagegreen July 19, 2011
These are really quite brilliant. I made them for company this weekend. They are delicious.
AntoniaJames July 19, 2011
Thanks so much, SG. I'm so glad you and your guests (who, I am quite certain, are regularly treated to great food when at your house) enjoyed them. ;o)
BlueKaleRoad June 8, 2011
I tested your recipe as an EP candidate and LOVED it! Your dukkah is lovely and I'm sprinkling it on everything (including my morning oatmeal). My family all enjoyed the canapes and they will be making regular appearances at our summer parties. The lime in the aioli was a nice touch, too. Thanks for sharing such a marvelous recipe!
AntoniaJames July 19, 2011
Thank you, BKR, for the EP review and for these kind comments. I hope you do continue to make them. Dukkah, especially when combined with hard cooked eggs, is one of those magical ingredients that, once I discovered it, had me asking myself, "Where has this stuff been all my life?!" ;o)
DAVILCHICK May 28, 2011
I saw this recipe and ran SCREAMING to my husband to order the Grains of Paradise, which he did. Can't wait to make this. Sadly, I used to call myself the Deviled Eggs Maven but now I must pass on the mantle. Can not wait to make this.
wssmom May 24, 2011
I was going to submit a deviled egg recipe with roasted garlic aioli but am now too humbled to do so -- this is INCREDIBLE!
AntoniaJames May 27, 2011
Thank you, wssmom! Like you, I'm humbled by so many of the others. The aioli + dukkah makes great egg salad, by the way. I've been eating this combination all week and still want more! On a sandwich with my Everyday Potato Bread (posted here, but spiked with wheatgerm and a bit of barley and whole wheat flours) and a fist full of watercress .. . it was simply to-die-for. I would have posted that, too, but have been so busy with my business, family, and the rest of my life in general. ;o)
Burnt O. May 24, 2011
I've only ever used dukkah on meat - this is a great idea! I have some left from some lamb chopsicles I made for a party! Will make these for a Mediterranean dinner next Friday.
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
Thanks, Burnt Offerings! I like to sprinkle dukkah on dals/creamy lentil stews and soups, and swirl it into creamed soups, like a tarkah, in which case I put it into a bit of warmed ghee first (to make it swirl-able). Great stuff! How did it ever take me so long to discover it? I'm so glad you'll be putting this idea to good use. ;o)
Burnt O. May 24, 2011
oooo - tarkah?? - I need to know about this. Yes - I'm hosting our Home Owner's Association annual dinner meeting next Friday, and it's a potluck with a Mediterranean theme in my garden (weather permitting), so everything from Italian, to Middle Eastern to Greek is up for grabs. The lamb chopsicles with dukkah and pomegranate molasses dipping sauce were awesome, but too $$$ to do for a party this size. But eggs and dukkah? NOW we're talking!
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
I've got some pumpkin seeds roasting in the oven right now, destined for a non-nut variation, for sprinkling on roasted root vegetables, also in the oven, to be served with a spatch-cocked braise-roasted chicken with preserved lemon, olives, fresh thyme, aromatics, etc. (also in the oven). Stay tuned. . . .
For a great, Mediterranean style potluck dish, try this one courtesy of the quite talented (Andrew) Baber, who attended both our spring and fall food52 gatherings last year. This totally rocks, and won't break the bank. This was one of the best things I ate in a whole year of really good eating in 2010. I'm not kidding. That boy can cook. ;o)
Burnt O. May 24, 2011
Hah! I was thinking about making a pissaladiere - that would be perfect!
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
The pumpkin seeds work really well, by the way. I pulsed them a few times in my spice mill, and had some recently toasted and ground cumin and coriander seeds on hand. It took all of one minute to pull it together, once I toasted the sesame seeds (which I did in the hot oven, on the hot baking sheet I'd used for the pumpkin seeds, while I was mixing the other ingredients. I didn't even measure anything.) Delicious. ;o)
hardlikearmour May 24, 2011
Wow, AJ, this sounds amazing. I always love how precise your instructions are, too.
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
Thanks so much! I've learned a lot about recipe writing by testing the EP candidates over the past year (and thinking like an engineer, to figure out what works, what doesn't work, and why . . . . .) ;o)
nannydeb May 24, 2011
Sounds delicious! I'll try it!
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
Thanks, nannydeb! I hope you do. ;o)
fiveandspice May 24, 2011
These sound so good! And creative!
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
You are so kind! Thank you. ;o)
Bevi May 24, 2011
What beautiful photos. Either of these recipes look scrumptious. Lime Makes food so bright.
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
Oh, I'm glad you think so! Thanks, Bevi. ;o)
TiggyBee May 23, 2011
These are beautiful. What a lovely recipe!
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
Thanks, TiggyBee! And easy, too . . . . ;o)
lorigoldsby May 23, 2011
The only difficulty is deciding which variation to try first. Love dukkah but hadn't thought to use on eggs, brilliant!
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
Thanks, Lori. I give full credit for that idea to Arabella Boxer, to whom I am very grateful, and whose book I highly recommend. Hard cooked eggs are one of my favorite spring/summer foods. The aioli + dukkah have quickly become my favorite new add-ons. (I must confess that the aioli idea was stimulated by this week's theme!! I've been playing with dukkah for months now, in a variety of non-traditional ways, as well as using it with the multigrain flatbreads I've been developing.) And as I mentioned in one of my other comments, it's all just so, so easy, too. ;o)
Sagegreen May 23, 2011
AntoniaJames May 24, 2011
Thank you, Sagegreen! You are so kind. ;o)
AntoniaJames May 23, 2011
Thanks, IPK! It's hard to imagine more fundamental, honest food than bread, eggs, olive oil and garlic . . . . livened up with a touch of savory nuts and seeds. I could live on this stuff. I'm not kidding. ;o)
inpatskitchen May 23, 2011
I'm loving all your variations of this!!