Buttery Egg Salad

Hard boil half a dozen eggs.[1] Slice two stalks of celery very thin – I aim for 1/16 inch -- and chop the slices fine. (I haven't tried one of those micro graters, but it would probably work well if the celery doesn't liquefy.) Chop a largish medium onion very fine.

Squeeze the eggs through a potato ricer. (A food mill might also work well.) Push the last of the egg through with a slice of white bread. Eat the bread. In an adequate bowl, mix the egg, celery, and onion, a bit of finely ground black or white pepper. (White doesn't look like fly specks.) Salt if you must. Stir in a teaspoon or two -- no more -- of mayonnaise[2] to achieve a more buttery consistency.

It's almost sinful to waste this on a sandwich, but go ahead and sin. You can pipe this to be fancy or for mass production. Half a teaspoon on a Ritz cracker, topped with a small medallion of lox and a crowning caper makes an impressive canape. Put out a bowlful next to other makings (mini bread squares, lox, olive halves, pickled red peppers, etc.) for guests to use as a spread. A bit of paprika sprinkled on top is a nice touch.
1. Starting with cold or lukewarm water, boil ten minutes after boiling begins. Run a stream of cold water into the pot without exposing the eggs to air. There'll be no green around the yolk and they'll peel easily, the membrane coming off with the shell.

2. Best, really, with fresh home-made mayonnaise. Recipe after Mark Bittman:

1 egg (or just the yolk)
a dash of cayenne
½ teaspoon of dry ground mustard
(salt and freshly ground pepper to taste)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (lime is good too)
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil (canola if you don't like olive)

Combine ¼ cup of the oil and all the rest of the ingredients in the blender (or food processor) and turn the machine on. Pour in a thin steady stream of oil as it runs. The mixture will thicken when about half the oil is in; you can pour a little faster after that. This keeps a week or two in the fridge. It doesn't spoil, but eventually it “ breaks”. It can be stirred back together by returning it to the blender or by vigorous whisking. Salt seems to promote breaking.

Go back