It may look ordinary, dull even, but this egg salad is special and richly flavored. You can serve it as a starter at a party, with flatbreads, as well as smeared generously on toasted bagels, for a fine brunch item. Or, spread it carefully on thinly sliced white or wheat bread, and make savory crustless sandwiches to have with a pot of hot tea.
This eastern european hybrid is my favorite egg salad. A closely related egg salad was laboriously chopped by multiple old bubies. It has been made infinitely easier to prepare by the food processor. I've fixed it with the traditional bowl and rocking mezzaluna method, and it is not my intention to repeat the experience, ever, though you are welcome to try it. I would strongly suggest the food processor if you have one. I think the texture is even better, if you are careful, and you are far less likely to sweat and moan. Possibly, you could sieve the eggs instead. This is what you do:
First, you hardboil 8 eggs, and cool and shell them. You probably already knew that very fresh eggs are hard to shell, but if you didn't, you do now. I saw someone on television demonstrate a technique which, I find, produces the least shell-clinging waste. (She was famous, and she was french, but I missed the intro.) This small dark lady tapped the egg all around its circumference on the sink edge, and carefully picked off the resulting cracked strip across the middle. The two sides came off easily thereafter, as if by magic. It works for me.
Heat a generous 2 tbsps of a light olive oil in a frying or saute pan over a medium heat and add a medium onion, sliced thinly. Cook it slowly, and when it just begins to color, add 4 or 5 ounces of sliced crimini mushrooms (or other mushrooms, preferably dark.) Cook this all very slowly, until its liquid is mostly absorbed, then set aside to cool.
When everything is cool, put the eggs, broken up a bit in your hand, into the food processor. Drain any remaining liquid from the onions and mushrooms, and add them, with sea salt and plenty of pepper, and a generous amount of fresh dill or a lesser amount of fresh tarragon. Now, pulse the processor, keeping a careful eye on the bowl. You want this evenly chopped into very tiny pieces, but you want it to stay fluffy, and not go creamy. (This creaminess should not happen until later, at the very moment you spread it on something nice, with a knife.)
Now, carefully, with a light hand, fold in 3 tbsps of mayo, and gently spoon the salad out of the bowl and into little crocks or baby souffle dishes, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for several hours to allow the flavors blend.
You should let your guests spread this on their toasted bagels or flatbreads, but if you are going to have tea sandwiches, you can make them a bit ahead, and cover them with a barely damp, clean dish towel to keep the thin bread from drying out. This spread is surprisingly full flavored and lavish. If I could, I'd sprinkle some tiny black caviar over my egg salad on a toasted bagel. Smoked Spanish paprika is nice too, and quite pretty.
Someday I am going to make this with just the yolks and stuff it into the hardboiled egg whites. That way we could have our egg salad as finger food- no need for plates, knives, or even bread. I haven't tried this yet.
I considered submitting this as my entry for the most recent eomeote , after having been mildly scolded for failing to observe the occasion. I was sure it would work until I discovered that there was a Harry Potter topic. Aside from declaring this to be a "magic" egg salad, which didn't seem like a very clever idea, or saying it would soon "disappear" (ditto), I was unable to hook up with the theme. I do like Harry, I just couldn't find any common ground with my egg salad. Maybe next month.