Paula Wolfert is a culinary icon, and one I admire greatly. You’ve seen her inspired recipes from me before, as her focus has been flavors of the Mediterranean; a climate much like ours here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Paula has been a long-time resident of Sonoma County, so many of her ingredients, originally discovered during her travels in the Mediterranean, also capitalize on our bountiful, local harvests.
This latest cookbook of Paula’s recipes, Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life by Berkeley-ite, Emily Thelin, is a compilation of Paula’s previous recipes. Moreover, it is a heartfelt biography of Paula’s journeys in travel and life. It is an interesting read, and generous in photos of Paula, her past travels, and the amazing recipes.
Out of so many recipes, I chose this simple egg salad. It’s spring now, and this salad is a light, fresh bite of the season. Fresh mint abounds in my backyard. It is paired aptly with spring onions (scallions) and grated eggs for a sophisticated combination that’s simple to prepare.
Please give this a try with mint, even if you haven’t thought to use this much mint with eggs. If you must, substitute some flat-leaf parsley for some of the mint. Or take it in a slightly new direction and use tender, spring watercress. It will be different, still delicious.
In addition to enjoying this recipe as a first course, you might also want to serve it up on your favorite crusty bread, or planks of sliced cucumber.
Mint and Egg Salad
Serves 4 as a light, first course
- 4 large eggs
- 1 to 2 cups slivered mint leaves, depending on the intensity of the mint
- 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts
- 1 to 2 teaspoons mild red pepper flakes, preferably Marash (substitute piment d’esplette)
- Juice of 1/ 2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fruity olive oil
- Sea salt, to taste
- Boil the eggs: Put the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water to cover by one inch and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water boils, turn off the heat and set a timer for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, drain the hot water and run cool water over the eggs to prevent further cooking. Peel the eggs and set aside.
- Assemble the salad: Using the large holes of a box grater, and working over a large bowl, grate the eggs. Add the mint, green onions and red pepper flakes; mix well. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice to taste; then drizzle over the egg mixture. Toss to coat lightly and evenly. Season with salt.
- Serve immediately at room temperature or slightly chilled.
Note: It’s easy to upsize this recipe. The number of eggs in it will provide a clear indication of portions. Make more, you will be glad you did!