Note: Serious Eater Michael Natkin of the vegetarian blog Herbivoracious drops by every Wednesday to share a delicious recipe to expand our vegetarian repertoire. This week's dish will make you the popular kid at the Labor Day bash.
Want to be a hero at your Labor Day barbecue? Gotcha covered. Show up with a plate of deviled eggs. You can never make too many and I'll bet you a dollar they will be gone in minutes.
I didn't stray too far from the traditional seasonings though I couldn't resist using smoked paprika and making the mayonnaise from scratch for some additional flavor. Sumac (the Middle Eastern spice, not the notoriously skin-irritating weed) also makes an attractive garnish but if you don't have any, more paprika will be just fine.
If you are against eating raw eggs for safety reasons, or just want to make this a little quicker, feel free to use a good prepackaged mayonnaise instead. The flavor of homemade mayo, however, is incomparable, and once you know how to whip it up, you can flavor it so many different ways.
- 1 dozen eggs plus 1 for the mayo
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon, divided
- 1/4 cup minced white onion
- 1/3 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (pimenton de la vera or agridulce)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Sumac powder for garnish (optional)
Place the dozen eggs in a large pot of cold water and add a tablespoon of salt. Over maximum heat, bring the eggs to a full boil, then immediately turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly 10 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water.
Peel the eggs, cut them in half lengthwise, and pop out and reserve the yolks. For neatness, use a damp paper towel to wipe off any yolk stuck to the outsides and flat surfaces of the eggs; it is fine if a bit clings inside the hole.
Break the remaining egg into the jar of a blender. Add a big pinch of salt and 1/2 of the lemon juice. Whiz for a few seconds. Remove the center insert from the lid and begin drizzling in the cup of olive oil. Start slowly and then you can go a little more quickly once it emulsifies. It probably won't be quite as stiff as store-bought mayonnaise.
Mash the egg yolks thoroughly with a fork. Add the onion, parsley, smoked paprika, the remaining lemon juice, and a nice pinch of salt. Mash some more--you won't be able to get it completely smooth but do the best you can. Then start adding the mayonnaise, starting with 1/2 cup and then a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. You want it rather soft and smooth, but not so thin it can't hold a shape. If you have leftover mayonnaise, it is delicious for dipping fresh vegetables. Or on toast. I like it on toast.
Either spoon the filling into the eggs, or for bonus points, fill a pastry bag and pipe it in with a large star tip. Garnish with the sumac or additional paprika. Refrigerate until serving time.