my mom's egg salad
because egg salad rocks.
Sending this week’s newsletter a day early so that you can make egg salad for your Easter feasts! It makes a great appetizer: Pile it onto a piece of toasted baguette and top with a sprig of dill! (Click here for the WTC recipe index and check the bottom of this post for a printer-friendly PDF of this egg salad recipe.)
Here’s the thing: This is a newsletter about dinner. Every single recipe is a complete dinner in under an hour. Those are the bylaws, that’s the understanding. It’s why you guys are here and what you expect to receive every single week.
So… egg salad? I think many recipients of this email will be a bit confused. But stay with me on this one. I think that egg salad is actually the ultimate quick weeknight meal. It takes about ten minutes to throw together (after the eggs are cooked). It’s full of lean protein. There are so many ways it can be enjoyed: as a sandwich, scooped up with Ritz crackers, spooned into a lettuce cup, devoured straight out of the bowl because you can’t freaking believe how much you love egg salad.
And if your house is anything like my house, it’s positively overflowing with dyed hard-boiled Easter eggs right now. If you don’t celebrate Easter or don’t participate in the somewhat bizarre ritual of dying hard-boiled eggs, check the notes section for my favorite ways to hard boil your eggs either on the stovetop or in an InstantPot.
Just be sure to use food-safe dye so that your eggs are safe to eat once the dying festivities are over!
My mom always grates her hard-boiled eggs when making egg or tuna salad, or when adding them to a spinach or chopped salad of any kind. The fine shreds of egg are what *make* this egg salad. Big chunks of egg don't absorb the sauce nicely, but with the shreds, everything combines magically. It is truly the perfect egg salad.
P.S. You’ll notice that there are MANY repeat ingredients from last week’s sheet-pan salmon recipe. This was on purpose! I know you all have leftover chives and dill, so when I was deciding which herbs to use (my mom just uses whatever’s in the fridge or alive in the garden) it was a no brainer to use those. If you have leftover dilly sauce from last week’s salmon, check the notes below the recipe — you can just use that sauce in your egg salad!
my mom’s egg salad
Serves 2 to 4 (double it if feeding 4 really hungry people)
~10 minutes (plus ~30 minutes to hard boil + peel all the eggs)
3 tablespoons finely minced chives
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh dill
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons whole grain (or absolutely any) mustard
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 hard-boiled eggs, grated on the largest hole of a box grater (instructions below for how to hard boil eggs)
For serving: soft bread, butter lettuce leaves, Ritz crackers, or your preferred egg salad vessel!
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add more salt and pepper to taste. THAT’S IT!! Serve it as a sandwich, alongside crackers, in lettuce cups, or however you’d like. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
How to hard boil eggs: My favorite method is to place all of the eggs in a wide, empty pot. Cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat. Cover the pot for 12 minutes. Drain and peel! If you have a hard time peeling the first one, give the eggs an ice bath for a few minutes… that can help make it easier.
How to hard boil eggs with an InstantPot: One of my all-time fave uses of my InstantPot is hard boiling eggs! The peels truly slip right off using this method. Place 1 cup water in the base of the InstantPot. Place your trivet over top (if you don’t have one, you can place the eggs straight in the water, but they’re more likely to crack). Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes before manually releasing the rest. Place into an ice bath (a bowl full of water and ice) to cool them quickly, then peel!
If you have leftover sauce from last week’s sheet-pan spring salmon: Grate 8 eggs and stir 1/4 cup of the dilly sauce into them. Add 3 tablespoons minced chives and you're done! Might need to add a bit more salt.
I’m not into eggs: I get it. The majority of my IG voters chose egg salad for this week’s recipe so here we are! BUT if you’re an egg hater, use this same approach to dinnertime with chicken salad (here’s my very delicious and easy curry chicken salad) or tuna salad (here’s my Mediterranean tuna salad)! Plate whichever salad you dig most with some crackers, on a sandwich, or on a simple salad — et voila.
Must have meat: Add a can of drained canned tuna fish for an egg-y tuna salad! Mix in extra teaspoons of the condiments as needed to get everything well coated.
I don’t have a box grater: You could use a mandoline to finely slice the eggs, then cut them into shreds. Or, obviously, you can just use a knife. Or you can buy a box grater just for this recipe because you’ll use it all the time once you have one!
What to cook when you really don’t feel like cooking: Buy pre-cooked hard-boiled eggs from the grocery and pre-minced herbs. Dinner could literally not get any easier.
Leftovers are a good thing: This egg salad stores for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge!
Prep ahead: Pre-cook your hard-boiled eggs. If you keep them in their shell, hard-boiled eggs can hang in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Though you want the eggs to be consumed within that week, so keep that timeframe in mind if you plan to have leftover egg salad.
Chives/dill: Chervil, tarragon, thyme, parsley, or any other soft green herb will work!
Mayo: Plain yogurt. Greek yogurt would work too but it can be a bit tangy, so I prefer plain old yogurt.
Whole grain mustard: Dijon, spicy mustard, yellow mustard… any mustard will do!
Lemon: There’s no real sub for the zest, so just omit. For the juice, you can swap in vinegar, ideally red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Kosher salt: Start with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and add more to taste if needed.
Eggs: I haven’t personally tried it, but I bet swapping a block of firm tofu (drained + grated) would be tasty. Or you could use rinsed and drained chickpeas in lieu of egg, partially mashing them up to be the same texture as egg salad.