Author Notes: This recipe is a collaborative approach to egg salad. It was inspired by a pickled egg salad sandwich I ate at Scratch bakery in Durham, NC. Then I pulled in the pickled celery component from Deb Perlman from Smitten Kitchen to get the pickle-y satisfaction that I wanted without having to wait a week on the eggs to pickle. I am even adding Hugh Acheson's take on boiling eggs. The foundations of recipes are the keys to good food!!! —Shelly Collins
Time consumers: the eggs and pickled celery
celery stalks, diced very small
cup white vinegar
tablespoons sea salt
tablespoon granulated sugar
The add in's
cup Dijon mustard
tablespoon chopped capers
cup chopped green onion or leeks
tablespoon chopped fresh chives
tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
pinches Allepo peppers
- Place the eggs in a heavy pot, cover by an inch with lukewarm water, and heat on medium high.
- Bring to a boil and then add ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt and a teaspoon of white vinegar.
- Cover the pot and turn off the heat.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes if you like a harder yolk. Set a time for 8 minutes if you like the yolk a bit softer.
- Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath by filling a medium bowl half with water and half with ice to cool the eggs once the timer goes off.
- At that point, transfer the eggs to the ice bath and let them cool completely.
- Gently crack the eggs by rolling them against a counter, using just enough pressure to crack the shells. Do this to all of the eggs and then place them back into the water for at least 15 minutes. This is one of my favorite steps in the recipe because it allows the shells to be more easily removed. Thank you Hugh! I am going to leave the eggs in the water while I go through the next step, pickling the celery.
- Leave the eggs in the water while going through the next step, pickling the celery.
- Pickle your celery: Combine vinegar, water, Kosher salt and sugar in a jar and shake it until the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Add diced celery to jar, cover it and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, ideally one hour and up to one week. My pickled celery was bright, crisp, and had a lovely acidity from pickling for only an hour.
- My personal creation: After peeling the eggs, I cut them in half and separate the yolks from the whites with my hands. I use two bowls to separate them.
- I take a potato masher to the egg whites until they are all coarsely "mashed."
- Add the remainder of the ingredients to the yolks. I like to base my assessment of the taste here. I also prefer the yolky part to be creamy.
- Once I add the remainder of the ingredient to the yolks and get them to taste to my liking, I fold the yolks into the whites.
- As for adding my own element into the recipe, I usually add a combo of what is available in the fridge. Occasionally I like to make my egg salad with full fat Greek yogurt. Most of the time, I like mayonnaise. You pick!
- I add Dijon mustard, capers, and one of the members of the allium family, depending on what I have on hand - green onion, red onion, shallot, or sweet onion.
- For spice I keep it simple. I like Celtic sea salt. Sometimes I will use white pepper, too.
- I usually use some French inspired flavored fresh herb like chives or tarragon or both.
- I do all of these ingredients by taste; though to start I will give you some measurements. Then, you can adjust them to match how you like the texture and flavor of your egg salad to be.
- In this recipe I suggest salting to your personal taste. Taste the egg salad before you add any salt. The capers and the pickled celery are bringing brininess to the recipe already. After you have tasted the egg salad, begin adding salt in ¼ tsp increments. I do the same with pepper. You can always add more salt and pepper. You can never take away what you have already added!!
- Get creative! Other additions could include, but are not limited to: paprika, parsley, garlic chives, cayenne, pickle relish, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, cornichons, Castelvetrano olives, pickled jalapeños, and the list goes on!!!
- To enjoy on a sandwich, spread on fresh baked rye or sourdough bread with a piece of fresh lettuce, sprouts, or pea shoots. You can make fancy little finger sandwiches to serve as Hors d'oeuvres. Egg salad is also wonderful on cracker or on top of your favorite salad greens. The possibilities for this recipe are endless!