I love devilled eggs, but they are finicky little buggers, particularly if you’re prone to being overly precious with presentation. This might be a “me” issue, but peeling, scooping and refilling the eggs without marring the white has always stressed me out. (I am easily stressed.) But there’s an easier way: Just make devilled egg salad.
Fancy devilled eggs have become something of a trend. It seems that every little bistro and wine bar offers some sort of "elevated" take on the picnic classic, usually with a bit of crispy pork (or even caviar) on top. You do not, however, need a prosciutto crisp on top of your devilled egg for it to be good; the best ones are the simplest.
I mean, sure, if you are only contributing one dish to your barbeque potluck, go ahead and scoop and pipe, but if you are in charge of more than one thing, save yourself some dang time and make the salad. The ingredients are exactly the same, but instead of worrying about the aesthetics of it all, you get to mash and serve, saving you a ton of time and — in my case — a little bit of worry.
Egg salad also stores much better than devilled eggs, which tend to dry out, separate and look generally unappetising the next day. Meanwhile, the salad, when covered with plastic wrap, looks exactly the same.
For mashing, I like to use a pastry cutter, the most excellent egg masher around. Any devilled egg recipe can be made into an egg salad, but I do recommend removing one white, because the yolk is the whole point, and I like to skew the ratio in that direction.
If you need a recipe to work from, I just happen to have one.
Devilled Egg Salad
- 12 eggs
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon of horseradish (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika, plus more for garnishing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shallots, for garnish
Cook the eggs however you cook hard-boiled eggs. If you're unsure how, you can lower them into boiling water and let them simmer for seven minutes. Whichever route you take, shock them in ice water immediately after cooking for at least 15 minutes.
Once the eggs are cool, peel them, cut them in half, eat a white and place the remaining eggs (and single yolk) in a big mixing bowl with everything but the shallots. Taste, adjust your seasoning as needed, then mix once more. Scoop into a pretty serving vessel, and top with sliced shallots.