Out of all the staples most people have in their kitchens, eggs are likely the most underappreciated. Think about it, who really gets excited about eggs? I mean, aside from me.
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The great thing about eggs (aside from their healthy nutritional profile) is how very adaptable they are. Obviously they can be eaten as-is, but they are also used to thicken sauces and soups, as binders in baked goods, or chopped up to be added to various dishes. It’s probably the hardest working staple you have in your kitchen!
However, I will admit that despite all the accolades, eggs can be kind of bland. Not bad, just bland. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to perk them up (sounds like another wonderful thing about eggs!). Even a simple hard boiled egg needs only a sprinkling of salt. But there’s no harm done by adding other stuff, too.
Despite the abundance of hard boiled eggs we would have after Easter, things like egg salad or deviled eggs were not something I grew up with. These aren’t exactly typical Greek menu items. I was first introduced to egg salad by my non-Greek cousin when I was about twelve years old and was completely blown away by how easy it was to prepare. She simply chopped up some eggs, added a blop of mayonaisse and mustard, then a sprinkling of salt and popped it all into the microwave for just a few seconds to warm it up. To this day, this is my basic method for making a quick and easy snack if there are boiled eggs ready to go.
However, I am admittedly a tinkerer, and no matter how good something is, I’ll look for ways to make it differently. This recipe doesn’t stray very far at all from my cousin’s original process. In fact, there’s only one added ingredient, capers. The tangy buds add nice bursts of flavor that really perk up the whole dish, but it’s still as easy as ever to put together.
Some quick notes before you begin:
It should go without saying that in recipes like this, all the quantities of ingredients are adjustable to suit your tastes. Feel free to add more or less of anything here to your satisfaction.
If you’re not familiar with capers, they are the pickled flower-buds of the caper plant. They have a salty-sour flavor like other pickled foods do. Here in the States, you’ll typically find them in the grocery store with other condiments, likely near the regular pickles. If you can’t find them, no worries, it can be left out.
When it comes to mustard, I’m a bit of a snob. I prefer the Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon is my favorite) over the stuff in the yellow bottle people squirt all over their hot dogs, however that will work, too, I guess. Just don’t use the kind that is sold as a dipping sauce as it will be too watery.
I’m also a mayonnaise snob. Are you really surprised? My favorite brand is Best Foods (sold as Hellman’s in the Eastern U.S.). Again, other brands will do, but avoid the type of mayonnaise that is also labeled as a salad dressing base. That has a completely different flavor profile.
As for the eggs, I have a nice and easy method for “boiling” them using a pressure cooker (click here for the process). The eggs are perfectly done and peel so easily. I will never go back to a pot of boiling water, though obviously it works. No matter which method you use, be sure to get the yolks completely set. If they are still gooey, the final texture of your egg salad will be off. The dry yolk is what really helps to bind the ingredients together, so that is what you are wanting to have.
Chopping the eggs is really easy if you happen to have an egg slicer. I’ll slice the egg in one direction, then turn the egg 90 degrees and slice it again. You can then use a fork while mixing the ingredients to cut it into smaller pieces as desired.
Egg Salad with Capers
- 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped into small pieces
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. capers
- 1/2 tsp. brine from the capers
- salt & pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Adjust ingredients to taste. That’s really all there is to it! If you have enough patience, letting the mixture sit in the refrigerator for a few hours will really help the flavors to blend, but otherwise it is ready to go. If you want to eat it warm, simply heat in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until it is the temperature you like (don’t overdo it or the mayonnaise will seperate and it won’t be good). This is great as a sandwich filling, topping for crackers, or just as-is. Enjoy!