Sunday, May 24, 2009
The Child Tamer
Egg salads remind me of summer days spent sitting on patios feeling my skin brown and my hair bleach copper while developing square imprints on the backs of my sweaty little legs from the warm metal patio furniture. Put this image together with the right footwear, a few layers of callous and dirt, and the right hair-do, a wind styled rats-nest (which my mother would have to chase me around the kitchen to comb out) and you have the quintessential childhood summer outfit.
I can remember sitting outside with my mother at one of her friends houses, sipping iced tea from a straw and making a straw-wrapper worm come alive by pouring iced tea on it. I was probably imagining all the things I wanted to be doing at that moment that didn't involve sitting still or minding my manners. Suddenly, a plate of the most delicious egg salad was brought before me, and with it, came my undivided attention.
The middle of the day is the best time for egg salad. The mornings play gives birth to all sorts of afternoon activity ideas if given the time to reflect and re-fuel. This particular version is loaded with flavors that I find comforting from my childhood, romaine lettuce, lemon, eggs, mayonnaise, celery, salt and pepper, with the slightest bit of adventure, radish, pickled ginger, soy sauce, broccoli sprouts. It is like riding a bike with the training wheels off for the first time, knowing that your dad is walking behind you holding you up. It is the first crack at dunking your whole head in the water while still wearing your bright orange arm swimmies. This salad is a safe adventure, no need to look behind you, someone is still holding you up.
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp sunflower oil
6 slices pickled ginger (like you have at sushi..yes, the pink ones..trust me!)
2 tsp honey (it is worth it to buy local honey, it is a treat to be able to taste the flowers you smell every day)
1 tsp dijon mustard (do you have any grey poupon?)
pepper, and a tiny bit of salt
chopped romaine (1/2 head)
radishes, radishes, radishes (I used two bunches from the farmers market, they were a little too mild for our tastes.. It seems like it is difficult to find a good spicy radish these days)
2 or 3 celery stalks, diced
a handful of broccoli or alfalfa sprouts
Make 5 hard boiled eggs (put the eggs in cold water and bring to a boil. boil for 1 min. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 8-10 min. Run under cold water)
peel eggs, and mash up with ~1/4 cup mayonnaise (if you want to make your own mayo use the recipe from the salad olivie that I made last Saturday..or use your own recipe..or use store bought..but make sure it is the kind you are used to from your own childhood)
add 2 diced green onions
and 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
and salt, pepper and paprika to taste
If you are feeling adventurous, or, you are disappointed with the strength of your radishes bite, you can try adding some wasabi paste to your egg salad..but be cautious, this can get a little intense!!!
allow the egg salad to chill before indulging (we..um..skipped this part..) Dress the vegetables and top with the egg salad. Garnish with rice crackers.
Christina's vote: "It would be a shame to conceal any of the flavors of this salad between two pieces of bread"