Dear reader, this is a big day for me. For as long as Extra Crispy has existed, I have longed to write to you all about one of my favorite breakfast staples: egg salad. Why has it taken so long? Blame the pervasive anti-egg salad stance that has gripped so many unwitting Americans, including the editors of this site. It is ludicrous in principle, and the arguments to support it even more so. "Egg salad is a lunch food!"
Why? Is it imperative that we pigeonhole our egg preparations, when deep down inside they’re all so similar? Just as dinnertime frittata is nothing more than a large breakfast omelet, lunchtime egg salad is nothing more than smashed deviled eggs, which last time I checked was one of everyone’s favorite party appetizers. And if an appetizer can be served with dinner, dinner can be breakfast, and breakfast can be dinner, then why can’t lunch be given the same sort of freedom to show up wherever it damn well pleases? That’s just flat out mean. Lunch doesn’t deserve to be treated like that, and all eggs deserve the freedom to be their best selves.
Another sticking point of the anti-egg-salad set is a textural bias, which is a bit more rational as an argument (but only a bit). Maybe the idea of a bunch of chopped up rubbery egg whites and crumby green-ringed egg yolks bound by globs of mayonnaise isn’t all that appealing, but ask yourself dear reader—why is that something you’re resigned to accepting?
The internet is full of chefs, bloggers, writers and “food hackers” who are intent on perfecting all the foods, yet you’re willing to lay down and play dead when egg salad comes into play? You’re braver than that. You’re going to march to the grocery store today, pick up a dozen eggs, go back home and make the best freaking egg salad of your life. And then, once you’ve eaten the entire bowl, you’ll go back out and grab more eggs so you can make another batch to keep in the fridge. Tomorrow morning all you’ll need to do is spoon a bit on top of some good looking toast.
The keys to egg salad excellence are simple. First, don’t make crappy hard boiled eggs, which should be obvious and yes you should have thought of that yourself. The second: don’t use jarred mayo. All mayonnaise really is is thickened oil that’s been emulsified into eggs, and since you already have a whole big bowl of those, just grab a bottle of your favorite olive oil. Bit of salt, bit of pepper, and that’s all.
A bunch of eggs
High quality olive oil, or any other oil you find particularly tasty
Salt and pepper (NICE ONES. When you’re keeping it simple, the little things matter.)
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Gently lower in eggs, reduce to a simmer, and set your timer for exactly 9 minutes.
Drain the eggs and immediately, drop them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Peel them while they’re underwater, because it’s just easier that way.
Put your eggs in a big bowl and start breaking them up with a fork, a strong whisk, or potato masher.
Once they’re broken, start mashing roughly while slowly drizzling in olive oil. It’s pretty much making it’s own mayonnaise. Stop when it looks good to you. Some like it firm, some like it loose, both are acceptable options.
Season with salt and pepper, give it a taste, and feel ridiculous for not getting over your anti-egg salad bias sooner. It wouldn’t hurt to hit me up on Twitter and thank me, either.