I refused to eat hard boiled eggs when I was a kid. Every Easter egg hunt ended with me emptying my basket out on the living room coffee table, separating its eggs into piles of hard boiled and chocolate varieties, and leaving the non-foil-wrapped ones for dead. Needless to say, I wasn't a fan of the egg salad that inevitably surfaced in our fridge after the festivities were over, either.
This all changed when my mom made deviled eggs for my dad's 60th birthday party a few years back. The recipe was a pesto variation, loaded with fresh basil and pine nuts. Turns out, they were also highly addictive. Since then, my opinion of hard boiled eggs has completely reversed; last summer I probably made three or four big batches of egg salad over the course of a couple months. And I ate it ALL.
About two weeks ago, I started craving deviled eggs like nobody's business. Maybe because they're one of the world's perfect picnic foods, or because that hard-boiled egg white is so cooling on the tongue on a hot day, but they just seem to perfectly encapsulate summer to me. So I set out on a mission to make some this past weekend.
What's more, we got another bunch of beautiful garlic scape in this week's CSA share, so they became my not-so-secret ingredient.
Scapes are spicy and pungent when raw, packing a similar initial punch to raw mature garlic, but the flavor is subtler and subsides quickly enough that it doesn't overwhelm the senses. This is not to say you won't experience a little garlic breath, but I guarantee it's of a much gentler variety. And well worth it.
These eggs start with Ruth Reichl's recommended method of hard boiling eggs, found in the latest edition of The Gourmet Cookbook and -- aside from peeling the eggs, perhaps -- are incredibly easy to make.
Garlic Scape Deviled Eggs
One dozen eggs
3 garlic scapes, rinsed and cut into 1-inch sections
5 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp. whole grain mustard
Salt and black pepper to taste
Put eggs in a large pot and cover with 1 1/2 inches of cold water. Partially cover the pot and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot completely, and cook the eggs for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water, still covered, for 15 minutes. Remove eggs from hot water with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes to stop them from further cooking.
Peel eggs and slice carefully in half lengthwise. Gently remove yolks and reserve. In a food processor, combine scapes, 3 tablespoons of the pine nuts, and the olive oil. Purée, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add reserved egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, and salt and pepper and pulse until incorporated.
Spoon yolk mixture into egg white halves and garnish with remaining pine nuts. Chill for one hour before serving.
Notes: The fresher your eggs, the harder they will be to peel. As Ruth Reichl points out, you probably don't have to worry about this with store-bought eggs, but if you've gotten your eggs from the farmer's market, wait a few days before hard boiling.
You can hard boil your eggs up to one week before making this recipe, as long as they are stored in the refrigerator with their shells intact.
If you want to do something fancier than spooning your yolk mixture into the egg whites, you can pipe it in using a pastry bag -- either the real thing, or something like it.
These eggs will last one to two days in the refrigerator, but do not save leftover eggs if they have been sitting out.