Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Egg Salad with Anchovy Toasts a la Silverton


Earlier this month I attended The Foodie Edition. Click to read a little bit about that evening here. Nancy Silverton talked about her views of a dinner party and shared one of the recipes she would put out on the table: Egg Salad with Anchovy Toasts. I had been dreaming about egg salad for over a week before I finally got around to making it.

A couple of things to note. Nancy said the best way to cook eggs is to boil them for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat completely and let the eggs cool in the cooking water. Ruth Reichl chimed in that you can also steam eggs for about 25 minutes instead of boiling them. That was a new one for me; I'll give it a try one of these days. But the 5 minute boil-cool method worked well for this batch.


Nancy tears her cooled eggs instead of chopping them. I gave it a shot. She was very specific - the whites into six pieces and the yolk into three pieces. I definitely wasn't that precise.


What really makes this recipe outstanding is the bagna cauda. Bagna cauda, literally translated as "hot bath," this dipping sauce appears in many Italian homes as part of the Christmas feast. Traditionally it's served with cardoons (you can read a little bit about cardoons in this post), but any vegetables will do. Diners dip the cardoons into the sauce and eaten with a slice of bread held to catch the drippings. When the bread is soaked with sauce, they eat it, too. And you start all over again. It's delicious and wonderful. So, I love that Silverton's recipe gives the toast a healthy drizzle of bagna cauda.

Ingredients

Bagna Cauda

  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 20 anchovy filets (I used a 2 oz can of oil-packed anchovies)
  • 10 to 12 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
Egg Salad

  • 12 large, hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/2 C garlic mayonnaise (recipe below)
  • freshly ground pepper for serving
Toasts

  • 6 to 8 slices of bread (I did some regular and some gluten-free)
  • olive oil for brushing
  • 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
Garlic Mayonnaise

  • 2 t vinegar (I used a white wine vinegar)
  • 2 t freshly lemon juice
  • 3/4 C canola oil
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed
  • 1 t salt
Procedure


Bagna Cauda
Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the anchovies dissolve and the garlic is soft and fragrant, approximtely 5 to 6 minutes. Keep stirring so the garlic Remove from the heat and let the bagna cauda rest in the pan. Before serving, stir to recombine the ingredients.

Garlic Mayonnaise
Whisk the canola and olive oils together. Whisk together the vinegar and lemon juice. Place egg yolk in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the garlic and salt and blend until the yolk is pale yellow, approximately 30 seconds. Add a few drops of the oil and pulse to incorporate the oil into the egg mixture. With the machine running, drizzle in the 1/4 C oil slowly until the egg and oil are emulsified. Turn off the food processor, remove the lid, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and pour in one-third of the vinegar-lemon juice mixture. Return the lid and pulse to combine. Repeat, adding 1/4 C oil at a time and 1/3 of the acid until you have used them all. You will end up with a thickened garlic mayonnaise.


Toast
Brush the side of the bread with olive oil and place on a griddle or grill pan until the bread is golden brown and crispy. Remove the toast from the pan and rub the oiled side of each toast with the garlic clove


Egg Salad
Tear the eggs in half to separate the whites from the yolks. Break the yolks in thirds and the whites into sixths. Place all of the pieces into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the eggs with salt. Add the garlic mayonnaise and stir aggressively with a rubber spatula until combined. 


To Serve
Give the bagna cauda a stir and spoon 1 T on each piece of toast. Spoon egg salad onto the toasts and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with more bagna cauda for diners to drizzle on as needed.

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