Do you have a thing for egg salad? Golden, creamy, soft and crunchy egg salad? Me too. There's just one problem: To me, the process of making egg salad sounds daunting. Boil eggs, peel them, make a salad — and all before lunch? Call me lazy, but I just don't have hard-boiled eggs in my weekly routine. I felt there must be an easier way to enjoy egg salad — something quicker, more spur-of-the-moment. Lucky for me, there is.
Yes, there is an easier way to make egg salad, one that doesn't involve hard-boiling, peeling, and all that jazz. I found that I can make a very good egg salad with scrambled (yes, scrambled!) eggs.
See, by the time eggs are all chopped up and soaked in that delicious dressing, they have taken on a somewhat homogenous eggy quality, without much distinction between eggs, yolks, and everything in between. Scrambling eggs gently into soft, dry curds gives you a similar base to start from. And scrambled eggs take only 5 minutes to make, start to finish. No peeling.
Is it exactly the same as a hard-boiled egg salad? Do you get those soft nuggets of boiled yolk and squeaky bits of egg white? No. There is certainly a difference, and I can hear egg salad purists wailing in the distance. But for me, for a spur-of-the-moment lunch maker, one without a lot of time or inclination to plan ahead, this is a splendid little shortcut. Egg salad at a moment's notice, full of all the things I love — a bit of mayo, lemon juice, mustard, celery, red onion, dill. Shake in a handful of capers if you like (I do).
It's just egg salad, after all — a simple lunch, made just a little simpler.
Quick, Easy Scrambled Egg Salad
6 to 7 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, from 1/4 small red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery, from about 2 stalks celery
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill fronds
1 tablespoon capers, optional
Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Beat in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and pour in 1 teaspoon olive oil. Spread it around the skillet with a spatula until the whole skillet is coated. Pour in the eggs.
Cook the eggs for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, or until they are cooked through and no longer wet. Stir frequently, helping small "curds" develop in the eggs.
Put the cooked eggs in a large bowl and use a spatula to break up any large pieces. Set aside.
Whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon mustard, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and adjust if desired to your taste. Pour over the eggs and fold in gently.
Fold in the chopped red onion, celery, and dill. If desired add capers. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Refrigerate to chill, or eat immediately.
(Images: Faith Durand)