It’s the day before Thanksgiving and wouldn’t you know it, my assignment for the family feast is to make a salad. But in the meantime, a person must eat, and today, I’m eating my favorite crunchy egg salad on my favorite toasted black rice bread.
I’m turned off by the mushy, mayonaise-y heaviness of the typical egg salad, but I do like an occasional egg. And since I like the combination of salt and fat and tart and sulfur and protein-heartiness that a good egg salad provides, occasionally I’ll make a simple one for myself using just one egg (or two if I’m really hungry or the eggs are very small) and as much chopped bell pepper and celery (including the leaves). Other delicious additions include chopped parsley, capers, or sweet pickle relish. I toss these together with the chopped egg adding a dash of paprika, a generous grind of black pepper, a scant teaspoon of Vegenaise (lighter and fresher-tasting than the usual egg-based mayo, plus it’s healthier) and almost as much prepared mustard, deli style or Dijon, whichever you prefer or whichever’s on hand. If you’re not into bread, try wrapping your egg salad in a collard or lettuce leaf, or add it to a salad plate.
Hard boiled eggs make an easy and hearty and practical addition to the home salad bar, a cinch to cook in the background while tackling other kitchen chores. Occasionally I’ll place six or eight eggs in a sauce pan, add cold water enough to cover the eggs. Lid on, I put them on a back burner to boil. My method is unorthodox: I let the water boil for a minute and then turn off the heat and forget all about it for a half hour or more. (This works well on my electric stove, where heat is retained in the coils after the power is cut, so the eggs continue to cook slowly, but you can turn the heat down to a low boil for five minutes and it will also do the job.) If the pot is still hot when I remember it, I put the whole thing, uncovered, in the sink, and run cold water in, letting the warm water overflow and gradually cool. Bringing the temperature down slowly like this keeps the eggs from breaking and leaves me with an easy offering in the home salad bar section of my refrigerator for my whole family’s hungry moments.