Recipe Review

Smitten Kitchen Just Taught Me the Secret to Better, More Flavorful Egg Salad

published Apr 4, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

Deb Perelman, the genius behind Smitten Kitchen, is well-loved by Kitchn staffers. Her smart tricks have earned her much praise in many of our recipe showdowns, from the addition of spinach in her baked ziti recipe to the use of a seeded loaf in her perfect garlic bread. Her egg salad looked to be equally as brilliant, featuring coarse mustard, pickled celery, minced shallots, and lots of fresh herbs. How would it compare to the other egg salad recipes I tested? Read on to find out.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

How to Make Smitten Kitchen’s Egg Salad

You’ll begin by combining white wine vinegar, water, kosher salt, and granulated sugar in a jar. Seal the jar and shake the contents until all the sugar is dissolved. Add in 2 stalks of finely chopped celery and let the mixture rest for at least 30 minutes, but ideally 1 hour.

Cook 4 eggs by placing them in a large saucepan and covering with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and, once boiling, drop the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs under cool water, then transfer to an ice bath for 10 to 15 minutes.

Peel and chop the eggs and transfer them to a medium bowl. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the prepared celery, then stir in whole-grain dijon, minced shallot, and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

My Honest Review of Smitten Kitchen’s Egg Salad

I loved the taste of this egg salad right after I made it. The pickled flavor and crunch of the celery gives it a pleasing mouthfeel that’s perfect for eating plain, and it’s an upgrade I’ll be using for all egg salads from now on. I also enjoyed the flavors that the coarse mustard and shallots brought to the overall dish.

Unfortunately, the initial pizzazz slowly faded as time passed. The flavors didn’t meld as well as I hoped, and I felt the salad was a little dry when I tasted it on bread (Deb suggests toasted whole-grain). But if you prefer your egg salad without the bread, this one is for you.

One other thing worth calling out is Deb’s recommendation to use an egg slicer to chop the eggs. I only own a few unitaskers in my home, and an egg slicer is one of them. It makes quick and easy work of slicing hard-boiled eggs, and it’s so gratifying. I think it would be great for perfectly slicing avocado, too. What else do you use an egg slicer for? Let me know in the comments!

Credit: Amelia Rampe

If You’re Going to Make Smitten Kitchen’s Egg Salad, a Few Tips

  1. Add cornichons. They’d be delicious here!
  2. Increase the mayo and mustard. Adding just a bit more of each would make it creamy enough to serve on toasted bread. Using homemade mayo would also take things up a notch.
  3. Enjoy immediately. This egg salad is best eaten right after you make it.

Rating: 9/10

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

Have you ever tried Smitten Kitchen’s Egg Salad? Let us know in the comments below.