When I was pregnant with our little boy last year, I would have the most random cravings. One of these cravings was for egg salad sandwiches – specifically egg salad on buttered toast slices, with thin slices of cucumbers on top of the egg salad. Clearly I had VERY specific cravings!
Now, you would think something like egg salad would be simple to make – hardboiled eggs, mayonnaise, and seasonings, right? My problem was that I was trying to recreate the taste of the egg salad of my childhood, so it had to be just right. I tried different variations, trying to nail that perfect iteration that would satisfy my cravings – I tried mustard, curry powder, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, dill (not all in the same egg salad!), but none of these were right.
I used the pregnancy as an excuse to use mayonnaise, which is something I usually don’t keep at home. As much as I hated to admit it, the egg salad didn’t taste right without mayo. Once I finally nailed the recipe (it was LOTS of freshly cracked black pepper that was the key!) I made it over and over again, because it was SO.GOOD.
And then I moved on to a different craving and forgot about egg salad.
Yes, the taste for egg salad has returned again. But now I can’t get away with indulging in the full-fat version as much, so clearly some changes need to be made. The obvious suspects are the much-maligned egg yolks and the rich, creamy mayo. Rather than completely eliminate the egg yolks and mayo, I’ve chosen to just reduce the amounts used, which helps preserve the taste of the original version. In order to keep the creamy texture of the egg salad, I have replaced part of the mayo with nonfat Greek yogurt, which also adds some calcium and protein.
As far as seasonings, the original version was deceptively simple, using only salt and cracked black pepper – I could have sworn there was more to it, but according to family members, that was it. In the new, healthier version I have played around by adding some Dijon mustard and smoked paprika sometimes, but I’m still partial to the simple version where the emphasis is on the freshly cracked black pepper!
I hope you’ll give both versions a try! Even though it seems like such a simple thing to make, I promise the taste will keep you coming back for more.
Egg Salad, Plain and Simple (original version)
Makes 2 open-face sandwiches
4 large hardboiled eggs, peeled
¼ cup mayonnaise
Salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 slices whole wheat toast, buttered if you like
Thin slices of cucumber for topping, optional
In a bowl, coarsely chop the hardboiled eggs using a fork. Add the mayo, salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine, adjusting amounts of salt and pepper to taste.
Spread egg salad evenly over the toast slices. Top each sandwich with thin slices of cucumber and sprinkle more black pepper on top.
Egg Salad, Plain and Simple (healthier version)
4 large hard boiled eggs, peeled, yolk removed from 2 eggs
2 tbsp. mayo
2 tbsp. nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Stonyfield Organic)
salt, freshly cracked black pepper to taste
thin slices of cucumber for topping, optional
In a bowl, coarsely chop the hardboiled eggs using a fork. Add the mayo, Greek yogurt, salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine, adjusting amounts of salt and pepper to taste.
Spread egg salad evenly over the toast slices. Top each sandwich with thin slices of cucumber if desired and sprinkle more black pepper on top.