Anyone still trying to find ways to use up all of Easter’s hard-boiled eggs definitely got too much into the holiday spirit.
For at least one more year, my family does not fall into that category, owing to my son’s tender age. But that doesn’t keep us from buying two-dozen eggs per week and hard-boiling any number of those to enjoy in all manner of dishes, which I’ve touted in a previous post.
But while I’ve always considered the egg an ideal food and, yes, sandwich ingredient, my typical egg salad is getting a little mundane. Even the chives sprouting blossoms in my back-deck herb pot aren’t quite enough to jazz it up.
Then I saw this recipe from The Washington Post that not only calls for slicing the eggs instead of chopping (why didn’t I think of that?) but also incorporates harissa, a North African pepper paste that I purchased in tube form about a year ago but have yet to test-drive in my own cooking. Better still, this recipe mingles olives with the other salad toppings, almost like a muffuletta. Because I can’t seem to get enough of brine-cured olives lately, I usually have a mixed container on hand.
The recipe for pickled carrots here makes enough for four generously filled sandwiches, but the amounts can be doubled if you’d like to have extra on hand. The carrots need to marinate for at least 1 hour. Both the carrots and the harissa mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Boiled-Egg Sandwiches With Pickled Carrots, Cilantro and Harissa Mayonnaise
8 ounces carrots (do not use baby-cut carrots)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
2/3 cup white-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 piece lemon peel (no pith), about 1 inch by 1/2 inch
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons harissa paste
4 large hard-cooked eggs
1 baguette or ciabatta loaf, cut crosswise into 4 equal portions
1/2 cup mixed pitted olives, such as Kalamata, Nicoise and picholine, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
Peel the carrots, cut them into thin matchsticks and transfer them to a heatproof container.
Place the coriander and cumin seeds in a skillet set over medium heat; toast, tossing occasionally, just until fragrant, for 2 to 3 minutes.
In a small saucepan over high heat, combine seeds with the vinegar, salt, honey and 2/3 cup water; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar. Just as brine reaches a boil, add the lemon peel, then pour mixture over carrots. Allow to steep for at least 1 hour.
In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, lemon juice and harissa. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Peel the eggs, then cut them into round slices about ¼ inch thick.
Cut each piece of the baguette or ciabatta in half horizontally. (If bread is more than a day old, toast it lightly before assembling sandwiches.) Spread each cut side with harissa mayonnaise, then, to each bottom half, add an overlapping layer of egg, 2 to 3 tablespoons pickled carrots, a heaping tablespoon of the chopped olives and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro leaves. Top with remaining bread.
Makes 4 servings
— Recipe by Emily C. Horton for The Washington Post