Many lunches for me are simply a salad of greens with an assortment of chopped, sliced or diced vegetables dressed with a light vinaigrette. Often I will top the salad with a hard cooked egg for protein. Today I was craving bread. This craving was fueled by the crusty baguette I picked up at the farmers market yesterday from Artisan Oven. The ingredients available for lunch today were my usual salad fixings and the eggs I had left from last week. But then there was the bread-I wanted a sandwich. Of course I could make an egg salad sandwich. Yuck! That mooshed up mayonnaisey concoction glopped onto a couple of slices of bread just does not work for me. It always reminds me of meatless Friday school lunches and the horrible smell of sulfur that permeated the whole school. To this day, I still can’t face an egg salad sandwich. What if I just piled my salad on the bread and called it a sandwich? Now that might work.
The foundation (in my opinion) to a great sandwich is the bread. That baguette was certainly promising offering a crackly crust with a delicate interior. The main ingredient can be vegetable, dairy or protein. Just be sure it is flavorful. The toppings need to complement the main ingredient. For my sandwich I cooked my eggs until the yolks were just set. Overcooking an egg can yield the texture of a superball and a sulfur taste. For my vegetables, I wanted stronger flavors which the barely cooked yolk would mellow out. My arugula is still plentiful along with the slightly hot radish and the licorice flavors fennel bulb that I love on my salads. Those early tomatoes I got at the market would add a slight acidity. I dressed everything with a garlic vinaigrette and lightly coated the bread with mayonnaise. This made for an egg salad sandwich to wipe away those frightful Friday lunch memories!
Egg and a Salad Sandwich
- 4 eggs
- 1 baguette
- 1/4 Fennel bulb
- 1 Tomato
- 4 Radishes
- 1 cup parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- pinch of salt
To cook the eggs to just set the yolks, put cold eggs into a pan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off burner and cover the pan. Let the eggs set in the hot water for 10 minutes. Drain the hot water and cover with ice water too stop the cooking process. When eggs are cool enough to handle peel from shell. After peeling cut the eggs in quarters lengthwise.
While the eggs are cooking, slice the fennel and radishes very thinly. A mandoline works well to cut the fennel. I wouldn’t recommend using it to slice the radishes which are a little small to give your fingers much clearance from the blade. You might end up slicing more than the radish-ouch! Slice the tomatoes a little thicker than the fennel.
To make the vinaigrette, put the parsley, garlic, salt and olive oil in a blender or mini food processor. Blend until the parsley and garlic are pureed. Add the vinegar and process to combine.
Cut the bread horizontally and spread lightly with mayonnaise. Put a thin layer of arugula on the bottom half of the bread and then a layer of tomato slices. Next put the egg quarters on top of the tomatoes and garnish with the fennel and radish slices. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top and then dress liberally with the garlic vinaigrette.
This egg salad sandwich has all the crunch and contrast a good sandwich should have. The flavorful vegetables blend with the smoothness of the egg and tart dressing. Not bad for the ubiquitous egg salad sandwich!