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Egg Salad Sandwiches

Proust had his tea and madeleines, but for many Americans, one bite of an egg salad sandwich, with a filling that dribbles out between the bread slices, is what transports them back to their childhood. Allowing the whole eggs to stand in the hot water, rather than boiling them, ensures against rubbery whites and gray-green yolks.

Ingredients:

  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (purchased, or see recipe at left), plus more for the bread
  • 2 small stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 small green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 slices good-quality white bread
  • 4 leaves butter lettuce

Directions:

To hard-cook the eggs, place them in a saucepan just large enough to hold them.

Add cold water to cover by 1 inch and bring just to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and cover. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the eggs, then transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool completely.

In a bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup mayonnaise, the celery, green onions, parsley and mustard. Peel the eggs and chop finely. Add to the mayonnaise mixture and mix gently. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread 4 of the bread slices with equal amounts of the egg salad, then top each with a lettuce leaf. Spread mayonnaise on the remaining 4 bread slices, and place, mayonnaise side down, on each sandwich. Cut in half and serve. Makes 4 sandwiches.

Variation: Add chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, chervil or chives, to the egg salad. For easy appetizers, spoon the egg salad into Belgian endive leaves, or for a lunchtime salad, mound it onto a bed of lettuce.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2009).