I have a collection of old cookbooks from the mid-20th century, and almost every one has a recipe for egg salad. Most are identical: Dice eggs into small pieces, add enough mayonnaise to bind and pickle relish to taste. Then there are those recipes for egg salad molds — unflavored gelatin with cold chicken stock and hard-boiled eggs. As disgusting as that may sound, no respectable community cookbook from the 1950s could leave one out of the "ladies luncheon menu" section.
Toward the end of the century, though, something happened. Egg salad disappeared from most cookbooks. But now it's back. Chefs and home cooks are giving it a second look and have hatched new recipes with surprising ingredients for such an old standard — crispy pancetta, white truffles and capers among them.
"We're certainly seeing people get very creative, putting unique spins on the classic egg salad recipe," says Ashley Richardson, communications director for the American Egg Board.
Now, the dices are bigger, the flavors are bolder. But there's one thing that hasn't changed: Egg salad is still perfect for a ladies summer luncheon. Serve it on a pretty salad plate in a leaf of butter lettuce, or offer it as a spread for rounds of bread or toast points. Add some bacon, and the guys will go for it, too.
Some people are substituting Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise as a healthier alternative, Richardson notes.
"On the other side of the spectrum, people indulge in egg salad by adding bacon or creating a BLT egg salad, using lettuce as a wrap for egg salad with bacon and tomatoes," she adds. "We're also seeing people infusing new flavors to their egg salad recipes with a Mediterranean spin, adding olives and sun-dried tomatoes, or a curried egg salad with curry powder and apples."
But the biggest trend, Richardson says, is cooks making "green" egg salad, using avocado to add more protein and those great Omega 3 vitamins to their meals.
Additionally, people are adding extra nutrients to their egg salads by adding in greens, such as cucumbers, celery and/or peas.
This recipe is a take on two classics: deviled eggs and egg salad. By combining the two, it's a salad everyone will love. The curry adds a new dimension of flavor and color to egg salad, but if you're not a fan of curry, substitute paprika. For more great ideas, log onto www.incredibleegg.org.
Curried Deviled Egg Salad
1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup sweet onion, such as Vidalia, optional
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider or sherry vinegar
A few drops of hot sauce
2-3 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Salt and black pepper to taste
In large bowl, chop the eggs coarsely into medium-size chunks. Add the celery, red bell pepper and onion (if desired).
In small bowl, mix together the mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, hot sauce and sour cream or yogurt. Gently stir the dressing into the bowl with the eggs and vegetables. Add salt and black pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with curry powder. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Serve in lettuce cups or with toast points or bread rounds. Makes about 6 servings.
LEMONADE FIGHTS CANCER
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, at 2107 Gunbarrel Road in Chattanooga, will be selling lemonade to help raise funds to fight childhood cancer. Now in its thirteenth year, Alex's Lemonade Days, named in honor and memory of Alexandra "Alex" Scott, a young girl who lost her battle with cancer in 2004 at age 8, is a nationwide effort that encourages communities to set up lemonade stands to sell lemonade in support of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Firebirds will set up a stand in its parking lot, selling lemonade for $3 per cup on June 9-10 from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on June 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Drive by and buy a cup, and perhaps add a little more to the tab. All proceeds will be donated to the foundation.
Contact Anne Braly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story has been corrected to note that Alex's Lemonade Days is in its thirteenth year, not its fourth year, as was originally stated in a news release.