PARIS — Easter still makes me think of vinegar. A clear wax crayon, drawn onto the white shell, not able to see the childish designs, hoping for the best. Dipping into the colored, vinegary dye with a flimsy wisp of wire shaped like a stop sign. Who decided a hexagon was best suited for Easter egg fishing?
Never worked very well for me. I always ended up with orange and blue fingers.
I loved the colors, though. The bright, almost turquoise blue, the grassy green, the tangerine, and pink the color of flamingos.
We always dyed dozens of hard-boiled eggs for Easter. The next day, my brother and I would race around the backyard, plucking the eggs out of monkey grass, off of fence railings, and in flower pots, filling up our baskets as fast as we could. Easter was the ultimate competition. The prize? I don’t even remember. The fun was the race around the yard.
Afterwards, we had all of these eggs, which Mom had to do something with. Deviled eggs were her default, but she often made egg salad, too, which we took to our grandparents’ house in Oklahoma for a picnic lunch later that day.
Which got me to thinking about egg salad and how homey — and easy — it is. And the perfect way to use the decorated, hunted, and gathered eggs.
In France, where the love of the egg is unsurpassed — you find eggs on sandwiches (Croque Madame), on and in salads, on burgers and mixed into steak tartare, and in the many different types of quiches available at the boulangeries — I’ve yet to see anything like an egg salad, which seems strange, given, too, the Frenchies’ mayo and mustard-centric culture. How did they miss this eggy fun, I wonder?
But living here has opened me up to the possibilities of combining eggs with just about anything, which is how I came up with these four new takes on egg salad, below. A great way to enjoy your Easter eggs, or a half-dozen hard-boiled eggs any other day of the year.
EGG SALAD TEX-MEXY
Makes enough for 4 tostadas
1 avocado, chopped
Small handful of cilantro, roughly chopped (plus additional for serving)
1 chipotle chile (in adobo), finely chopped
4 corn tortillas
1 lime, cut into wedges (for serving)
1. Put the eggs in a saucepan, cover with water by 2 inches, and put on the stove over medium-high heat. When the water boils, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and put on the timer for 10 minutes. Carefully pour off the hot water, then put the pot in the sink and let cold water run over the eggs until they’re cool enough to peel. Roughly chop the eggs and put them in a bowl.
2. Add the avocado, cilantro, chopped chipotle, and salt to taste. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.