I dig retro. But I’m totally not cool enough to pull it off. I could never decorate my house in mid-century style, for example, even though I love it. And I could never get away with Bettie Page bangs, or a culinary tattoo. It would look like I was trying too hard…the nerdy redhead, masquerading in stylish clothes to fit in with the cool kids. A poseur.
To perfectly illustrate that point, I recently purchased my first pair of reading glasses, because of a genetic predisposition for premature presbyopia (thanks, Dad). It took me a long time to find some that I thought were cute enough…I wanted equal parts hipster and sexy librarian. If I’ve got to wear ‘em, I want to look fashionable, and kind of edgy, know what I mean? But there is one small problem–I’m not a hipster…or a sexy librarian….or the least bit edgy. My kids, experts in all things fashion, informed me that I looked “weird” and “old” in the glasses. Awesome….just the look a 37 year old, mom of 3 aspires too. Sigh.
But luckily, even though I can’t rock the retro home decor, clothing, or glasses, I can rock a retro recipe. Egg salad has come and gone on menus over the years, but for our family, it has never gone out of style. It’s easily adaptable, and I’ve seen all kinds on the interwebs, from low fat egg-white and yogurt versions, to curried and bacon spiked. However, no matter how it’s flavored, it’s muy importante to start with perfectly hard-boiled eggs…which means the yolk must not have that ugly gray/green ring around it. Here’s how I do it.
I like to eat my sandwiches grandpa style, which for me simply means open-faced (my grandfather was Danish and only ate his sandwiches this way). I also prefer my egg salad the classic way–I don’t need curry, or bacon, or sriracha for it to light my fire. But the addition of some fresh fennel and sliced radishes give it a little bite, and a lot of flavor…just enough so that it doesn’t look like it’s trying too hard. Because nobody likes a poseur.
Update classic egg salad by using minced fennel fronds in place of celery. Earthy radish slices add a zippy crunch and a spash of color. I prefer to eat mine as my grandfather did...open faced, with a fork and knife. But you should enjoy it any way you like.
- 4 large or extra eggs
- 1/4 cup good quality mayonnaise
- 1-2 teaspoons minced fennel fronds
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- pinch of salt & pepper
- pinch of smoked paprika
- radishes, sliced
- To perfectly hard-boil eggs, pierce the bottom of each egg with a needle (it helps to peel them), place eggs in a sauce pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover, remove from heat and let sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. Remove eggs from pan and immediatly plunge in an ice bath until cool.
- Chop eggs and place in a small mixing bowl. Stir in mayo, fennel fronds, mustard, and paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread on toasted (gluten-free) bread and top with radishes and additional fennel fronds for garnish. Serve immediately.