When I was younger, I felt ambivalent toward eggs. Naturally, that changed considerably as I've gotten older. (Those of you who have been following my posts will recall my rant about the budding source of life.)
My hesitation toward eggs extended to egg salad: sloppy, rich, and potent-smelling. I never trusted other people's egg salad, but I'd still eat it. It was never my first choice, but I guess it never bothered me that much either.
Everything changed with the addition of tarragon. I don't think there has ever been a more perfect pairing than that of eggs with tarragon. Consequently, I am reposting my all-time favourite Epicurious recipe to which I can change nothing to better it. It's heavenly.
Lately, I've tried to exercise more restraint in my cooking. I used to err on the side of over-flavoring everything. I liked curries and bold, spicy flavors: complex components that combine to become something entirely unrecognizable. In holding back and limiting myself to fewer, more deliberate ingredients, I've been surprised how much I enjoy certain flavors. I used to be more like an Indian chef, I suppose, and now I'm moving toward French.
Tarragon does have a flavor reminiscent of licorice, but it's not what you think. Much like fennel, it's more complex than overwhelming anise. (I've successfully converted heaps of people to team fennel.)
To urge you, all I can say is simply: try it. You will not be sorry.
My brother always says that egg salad reminds him of traveling. I suppose it's one of those things we would eat on road trips as children and, more frequently, as adults. Now, when I eat egg salad, I get a nostalgic and content feeling: one more reason to look forward to road trips.
Note: I've switched around some of the measurements and instructions to make the recipe as simple as possible
Tarragon Egg Salad (The Best Egg Salad Ever)
8 large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 finely chopped shallots
2 tbsp of finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp of white wine vinegar
pinch of kosher salt + to taste
pinch of freshly-ground black pepper
1 fresh baguette
3 cups of tender pea shoots
Gently place eggs in an electric kettle. Bring to a boil. Set timer for 15 minutes. Once finished, immerse eggs in ice water. Peel eggs, rinse, and finely chop. Mix with mayonnaise, shallots, tarragon, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Create sandwiches. Ta da!
FYI, you could always add basil or chives if you just aren't down with tarragon. It being the season it is (hurrah for spring!), I'm going on a hunt for garlic leaves, thanks to a lovely article from Vitamin T. I think they would make a great addition to this egg salad if you substituted them for the shallots (...or not and just combined them if you're me and you love pungency.)