Egg Salad & Zippy Ricotta
While preparing to dye eggs for Easter last week, I figured it was a good time to delve into the absolute best way to hard boil an egg, with the end goal to be perfectly peeled whites and creamy yellows. There are so many theories out there, ones that I have followed, with some success, but others not as much. After three dozen eggs, I am convinced that J.Kenji López-Alt from Serious Eats has the method and overall best success rate. As he states from the very beginning of his article, “There is no 100% foolproof method for peeling hard-boiled eggs, and anybody who tells you different is selling something.” One of his past jobs was as an egg cook for breakfast, and then he researched and experimented beyond that, so he’s literally cooked hundreds, maybe thousands, of eggs, so I’m ‘putting all of my eggs in his basket,’ and never looking at another theory about hard boiled eggs ever again!
Egg Salad and Zippy Ricotta can be used together for a decadent egg salad sandwich or served with a variety of accompaniments as pictured. Other items pictured and/or used above, that can be found in our shop: Matiz Catalan All I Oli, Los Villares Sherry Vinegar, Lidrivio Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Maitland Mountain Farm Pickled Onions, Cornichon, Sigdal Norwegian Wholegrain Crispbread, Ricci’s Bikkies, Duck Trap Scottish Smoked Salmon.
6 whole eggs
2 tablespoon aioli*
1 tablespoon mayonnaise*
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard*
1 tablespoon tarragon, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar*
salt and pepper
½ cup fresh ricotta*
2 teaspoons horseradish*
1 tablespoon olive oil*
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper
*Items with an asterisk can be found at The Cheese Shop of Salem!
In a large saucepan, add about 5 cups of water and bring to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and, using eggs directly from the refrigerator, gently lower each one into the water. You might get a few that will ‘pop’ and crack, and you will lose a little of the white, but it’s not the end for these eggs. They will be fine if your peeling and chopping them. If you’re looking for a perfect egg to present on top of toast or a pasta, boil a few more than needed to be safe.
Cook the eggs at this medium-low boil for the full amount of time. I did for 8 minutes, which yielded a perfectly medium cooked yolk, firm but dark and just slightly runny. Play around with the time in 2-minute increments to find what works best for your taste.
While the eggs are cooking, set up a medium size bowl with cold water and a lot of ice. This is a crucial part of the process, so don’t skimp on the ice, the water needs to be very cold.
When the eggs are finished cooking, pull them out with a slotted spoon and lower them into the ice bath. Allow them to sit here for no less than 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, they can be peeled, or held in the refrigerator in their shells.
Peel the eggs (they should peel beautifully) and cut into quarters.
In a small bowl, stir together the aioli, mayo, mustard, tarragon, shallot and vinegar, making sure everything it is well blended. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Add the eggs and fold gently until they are well coated. Adjust seasoning.
In a separate small bowl, stir together the ricotta, horseradish, olive oil, chives and salt and pepper to taste.