It’s that time of year when spring traditions abound. Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies and dying Easter eggs. If your kids (or husband) are anything like mine, they aren’t content with just dyeing one or two eggs each. Our baskets overflow with eggs that are sparkly in every color of the rainbow.
Yep, every person gets a dozen eggs to design. That’s a lot of eggs. But even if you only have a few leftover hard boiled eggs after Easter, what to do with them can be a conundrum.
I’ve tried to be a bit inventive over the years and they’ve ended up baked inside a meatloaf and decorating my Easter bread. But in the end, I end up serving the regular standbys. I put the eggs in lunch boxes with a little salt, egg salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, etc. It’s pretty much overkill with those top three. In anticipation of this year’s egg bounty, knowing I’ll have around 30 eggs to contend with, I wanted to see if I could get a little more creative with how I can use them.
Initially, I did a little crowdsourcing and tapped into the social media collective. I asked, “What do you do with your leftover Easter eggs?” The response varied from “I throw them out” to “I put them in tuna salad” and then to other suggestions that piqued my interest, if for no other reason than I couldn’t believe that’s what people did with them. Some suggestions were “Pickle them with beets” and “We eat them with gravy.” The gravy suggestion was not something I could fathom, but I do love pickles.
Pickled eggs in beet juice is a traditional Pennsylvania treat found in restaurants and pubs. I found a pretty straightforward recipe that pickled the eggs and beets with cider vinegar, beet juice from the can, sugar and pickling spices. After a few days in the fridge, I went in for a taste. Um, well, not my favorite, but I grew up with the mantra that you don’t yuck someone else’s yum, so I’ll leave it at that. I could see these served on a Cobb salad that would actually be pretty tasty. It just isn’t my favorite.
So I decided to look to the egg-sperts (sorry, but who doesn’t love a good egg pun?). I scoured my cookbook shelf. “Joy of Cooking” was just the book that I knew would have a recipe. And they did – Scotch eggs.
I discovered my first Scotch egg at a whisky tasting and I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t the whisky that was convincing me that they were good. I spent an entire day boiling eggs then carefully wrapping them in breakfast sausage, dipping in egg and coating in breadcrumbs. The eggs were then deep fried. These are decadent and delicious. They could be an entire meal, definitely a better snack than the pickled one, but a lot more work.
What I was really looking for was something that’s easy, delicious and can be utilized year-round. After digging deep into the trusty internet, I discovered gribiche sauce and started down the rabbit hole of what it is and how it is used. Apparently this is a condiment I should have known about my entire life. It is listed among other stalwarts like tartar sauce and aioli. Gribiche sauce utilizes finely diced hard boiled eggs, capers and cornichons. It is traditionally served over steamed asparagus, leeks or potatoes as well as with poached chicken and salmon. Needless to say, this is egg-actly what I was looking for. So into my kitchen to egg-speriment. Have I reached my egg pun limit?
I was pleased that I had most items in my pantry and it came together rather easily. Apparently, the sauce could be thick and chunky, smooth and creamy or thin and runny. I preferred smooth and creamy and I’m happy to report it was delicious. I ate it with asparagus. I figured I would go with the traditional way first. This is definitely going to be a regular egg user-upper in my house. But maybe I have to put my foot down on how many eggs my family decorates this year. Then again, who wants to come over for an egg egg-stravaganza?
If you want to try gribiche sauce, here is the recipe I used. I adapted it from “Repertoire” by Jessica Battilana.
2 large hard boiled eggs
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice
8 cornichon pickles
1 tablespoon capers
½ cup mild extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Put peeled eggs in the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, mustard, white wine vinegar, cornichons and capers. Pulse until the eggs are coarsely chopped. With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and continue processing until the sauce is creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the parsley, chives, salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon sauce onto a large platter and arrange the asparagus on top or serve in a bowl.
Lisa Sweet writes about food for the Leavenworth Times. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org