If there is one thing I will not stand for, it is slander against deviled eggs. They’re the perfect little handheld appetizer. Kitschy but not gimmicky, small yet substantial, and near endlessly customisable. They also taste good. You can keep them simple with mayo, mustard, and paprika, or dress them up with bacon, pickled vegetables, and even caviar. If you want to really lean in to the kitsch, you can pickle the eggs with beets to give them a deep, ruby hue.
But still, there are people who don’t want to fuss with the deviling (and heathens like my boyfriend who flat out refuse to eat them). I wouldn’t go so far as to call deviled eggs “labour intensive,” but there is some labour involved. Cooking and peeling the eggs, mashing the yolks to make the filling, then piping or spooning the filling back into the whites — it all takes time. If you do not have that time, or are dealing with a crowd of deviled-egg haters (and don’t have time to get new friends), consider the un-deviled egg.
egg. butter. radish. fish sauce salt. pic.twitter.com/YBOUEcX3xq
— Claire Lower (@clairelizzie) March 28, 2022
The un-deviled egg — or deconstructed deviled egg — has all the flavorful components of a deviled egg, only they aren’t all mashed together. The benefit for you, as the host, is that they are very easy to make and serve, as your guests do the assembling. (Un-deviled eggs are so easy to throw together, I often eat them for breakfast.) This makes them perfect for Easter Sunday, a day you might find yourself distracted and busied by other things. (Un-deviled eggs are also far more respectful to Jesus. It is His day after all.)
Instead mashing, the yolk is left whole, in its white. Halves are then smeared with your condiments of choice — Kewpie mayo, duck fat mayo, whole grain mustard, prepared horseradish, hot sauce, butter, chilli crisp — and crowned with whatever toppings you can think of. Pickled vegetables, radishes, halved cherry tomatoes, caviar, fresh herbs, potato chips, bacon bits, grilled asparagus, chives, tiny preserved fish, smoked salmon, feta, frico bits — lay it all out on the table, with salt, pepper, and paprika, and let guests construct their perfect egg bite.
I won’t tell you how to build your un-deviled egg, as testing out new combinations is half the fun, but I do have some ideas, suggestions, and impulses:
- Butter + French breakfast radish halves + flake salt + Louisiana hot sauce
- Kewpie mayo + trout roe + chives
- A dab of mayo + whole grain mustard + a bit of smoked brisket
- Mayo + bacon + cherry tomato half + chives
- Avocado + olive oil + flake salt
- Butter + grilled asparagus + chilli crisp
- Butter + pickled cauliflower + salt and pepper
- Spicy mustard + a tiny bit of mayo + prosciutto
- Whole grain mustard + potato chips
- Labneh + pickled beets + fried onion bits (the kind you buy for green bean casserole)
- Goat cheese + grilled asparagus + smoked paprika + flake salt
And so on and so forth.
While your family and friends busy themselves with eggs, you can turn your attention to the rest of the Easter feast. (I recommend smoking a lamb shoulder, as it’s fairly hands off, freeing you up to get in on the deconstructed egg fun yourself.)