September 11, 2013

Cucumber Egg Salad


Cucumber Egg Salad

It's astonishing how many cucumbers one little bedding plant stuck in the soil next to a narrow and heavily used driveway can spawn. We've probably plucked 15 from the bendy vines to date and it's still going strong. l'm using the cukes in salads, flavored water, yogurt dips and eating them straight with plenty of salt.

I know. I have the sweetest farmer in the city.

Cucumbers cool crunch is a great foil for the tang and creaminess of egg salad. Diced into pretty little cubes along with piles of minced basil and chives from the pots still humming along on my patio, they're a nice alternative to celery or pickles usually found in this diner classic. Mayonnaise is a no-brainer. But the eggs...

There is much to be said on the topic of boiled eggs. Joy of Cooking (and my husband) swear by the 14 minute method, but I find the yolks a little dry for egg salad, and the drier they are, the more mayonnaise I need to use (and I already want to use plenty). So I cut the time in half and, at seven minutes, the yolks were bright and creamy and the whites nice and springy. Encouraged,  I cut the time again and tried a five minute version. Too much of a good thing - the yolks were runny, they were difficult to peel and the flavor was too...eggy. Seven it is.

14, 7 and 5 minute boiled eggs


I drained the cucumber with a bit of salt to keep the salad from getting watery. This step falls in the category of nice to have, not need to have, as it will still be tasty with a little cucumber juice, just a little wetter. 


Cucumber Egg Salad

Makes enough for 4 sandwiches

6 eggs
1/2 medium-size cucumber
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Peel cucumber and halve lengthwise. Remove seeds by running a spoon down the center then slice into 1/4 inch (tiny) cubes. Place in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Toss and set aside to drain for at least 15 minutes.

2. Place eggs in a pot with enough cold water to just cover them. Put the lid on and bring to a boil, then turn off heat and let sit covered for seven minutes. Take the eggs out of the hot water with a large spoon and place them in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes to cool, then peel. Place peeled eggs in a large bowl and mash with a fork until no large pieces remain.

3. Mince basil and chives and add to bowl with mashed eggs.

4. Add drained cucumber (note: if you didn't drain, then also add the salt in this step), mayonnaise and pepper and stir to blend thoroughly. Serve on toast, soft white rolls or straight up on a bed of lettuce.




Cucumber Egg Salad

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