1-Ingredient Upgrade for Better Egg Salad


Hard-boiled eggs are a polarizing food in my house. And by that I mean I'm the only one who likes them. When I mash them with mayo for an egg salad, I can pretty much guarantee that I'll be eating one of my favorite foods completely alone.

I love egg salad because it's easy, protein-packed, and versatile for a weekday lunch, but I understand why it's difficult for some people. Egg salad has gained a reputation as the last pick at a picnic and can be flat and sweet in taste.

For all these reasons, my tastebuds were piqued when I read about Smitten Kitchen's egg salad glow-up nearly a decade ago, which has since upgraded my mid-week lunch.

Tip? Quickly add the pickled celery, which Smitten Kitchen's Deb Perelman says “adds a little bit of accent and crunch, and once you fall in love with it here, it's impossible to make it any other way, so treat yourself.” Be warned.” Speaking from personal experience: I agree.

Deb mixes white wine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar with diced celery, and quickly pickles it for at least 30 minutes—she prepares the eggs while she prepares the eggs. Pickles can stay in the fridge for up to seven days, which means you can eat egg salad right away all week.

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How do I pickle any vegetable quickly?

Celery is a classic in egg salad, but any spicy pickled veggie can add flavor and crunch to your egg salad. Think cucumbers, red onions, green peppers, carrots, zucchini, or blanched green beans. The key is to finely chop them for that perfect bite. I usually keep a quick pickled red onion in my fridge and prefer celery in my egg salad for color, tang and texture.

If you're new to pickling, don't panic. It's really easy, requires only a few ingredients, and requires very little time and attention. Here's how:

To make the pickle liquid, I use a one-to-one ratio: one cup of water, one cup of vinegar, one tablespoon of salt, and one tablespoon of sugar. This is very easy to remember.

Combine water and white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar—my go-to for their crisp and fruity undertones. If you don't have vinegar, lemon or lime juice can be a great substitute. The acidity of the lemon adds a bright, fresh flavor to your tangy pickles.

Add salt and sweetener to the mixture. Maple syrup is my favorite sweetener—hey, I live in Vermont, after all!—but honey or sugar are great substitutes.

Add finely chopped vegetables to the liquid. Use a jar with a tight-fitting lid for easy stirring, or mash the vegetables in your pickling liquid with a wooden spoon to release their flavors more fully.

While a little dipping in your pickling liquid may be enough, letting your vegetables marinate for at least 30 minutes intensifies the flavors, making them even more irresistible in your egg salad. go


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