What’s something you’ve never told anyone before? Not because it’s weird or embarrassing or incriminating, but because it’s just not something you’ve ever thought to say out loud? I’ll go first.
Every time I’m at the airport, I crave egg salad. I walk around from café to café, restaurant to restaurant, sometimes even taking a lap around Hudson News in pursuit of the stuff. It’s a exercise in futility – I’ve never once found egg salad at the airport. And if I’m being honest with myself, I probably never will. What’s the point! I try not to be indignant about it, but it’s hard to believe I’m the only one wondering why no airports in the greater United States carry egg salad. I know, my struggle is so real.
The other morning, I found myself at the airport. I say “found” because this flight was at such an ungodly hour of the morning that I had hardly regained consciousness by the time I got past security. I was in Austin, closing out a week of eating barbecue and doing bridesmaid things for my aunt’s wedding. It had been a week of reckless food consumption and generous pours of wine and whiskey. It was 6AM at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and I had a hankering for egg salad. The standard procedure commenced, ending rather decidedly without the ambrosia I was after.
As I sat, hunched over an overpriced breakfast sandwich, I resolved to take matters into my own hands. Why live your life waiting for egg salad to magically show up at the airport when you can show up at the airport with your own egg salad?? Lean in, am I right!?
I spent the next few minutes researching the subject at hand, looking to my favorite foodblogs for sage advice. After a quick 4-hour nap at a cruising altitude of 39,000 feet, I was back in SF, headed straight to Whole Foods with a game plan.
A note about egg salad: It has come to my attention, after sharing this deeply personal truth with a few friends, that egg salad is not, in fact, a ubiquitously loved food item. In fact, most of those surveyed were both surprised and appalled to learn about my obsession. So, if you’re a disbeliever too, please understand this before passing judgment: This egg salad isn’t the overly mayo’d, mushy, or smelly food of your childhood memories featuring gross cafeterias or family reunion picnics.
This has texture, lots of flavor, and is the perfect snack morning, noon, or night. It’s healthy, seasonally flexible, and even easy to take to the airport, if you’re so inclined. I recommend using super fresh eggs for the brightest color, and be careful not to over-cook them so your yolks don’t turn gray and crumbly. We’re going for creamy yolks and springy whites, people! For the mayo, I always prefer Kewpie, the extra rich tasting Japanese mayo with the weird baby on the bottle. You can find it at any Japanese super market! Most recipes call for celery, but we used fresh snap peas from our garden, which was both gratifying and delicious! Get creative – you can swap in other fresh herbs and crunchy things. Tarragon, thyme, fennel, scallions, and English peas all sound good to me.
Okay, now it’s your turn.
Ingredients (about 6 servings)
12 very fresh eggs
1-2 tablespoons Kewpie mayo
1 sprig of fresh dill, de-stemmed
3-5 cornichons, sliced
5 snap peas, chopped
½ bunch fresh chives, chopped
Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs and boil for 12 minutes. Remove the eggs and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop them from over-cooking. Peel them!
Place the peeled eggs in a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher or the back of a fork, smash the eggs until they’re just broken up into uniform small-ish pieces.
Add the mayo and stir to combine. For a creamier texture try adding more mayo and/or smashing the eggs a bit more.
Stir in dill, cornichons, snap peas, chives, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Taste and add more of one thing or another until it’s just right.
Serve on crusty bread, in a sandwich with lettuce, cucumber, avocado, and sprouts, or enjoy straight up!