It’s funny, I bought this pumpernickel loaf last week to make an entirely different recipe than what I’m posting today. Originally, I planned to write about a very German-sounding meal of pumpernickel-breaded chicken with mustard and cabbage. I did end up making that dish, which was good, but then I made this sandwich with the leftover bread, and I’m so glad I did. This egg salad was splendid.
I happened to have some tarragon on hand from when I made seafood risotto, and pairing tarragon with eggs is second only to pairing it with seafood. A few years ago my sisters and I took my mom to a traditional afternoon tea the day after Christmas, and they served these slender egg salad sandwiches on dark rustic pumpernickel. They were so manageable, and I’ve kept that sandwich in my head until I had the chance to make it myself. Believe it or not, good pumpernickel isn’t the easiest thing to find in Boston.
I found this quick & simple recipe from Gourmet, but I happened to be out of shallots at the moment. Adding a bit of celery kept the crunch factor, but incorporating both the shallots and the celery is probably the way to go. Also, toasting the bread gives the sandwich a nice firmness so it doesn’t fall apart on you (as much) when you’re eating it. When David took this to work, he kept the egg salad separate in a small tupperware container and constructed his sandwich just before lunch.
Egg salad sandwiches with tarragon on pumpernickel bread
Adapted from Gourmet
Makes 3 sandwiches.
5 eggs, hard-boiled
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 rib celery, diced
1 Tablespoon chopped shallot
1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
6 slices pumpernickel bread
6 slices romaine lettuce
1) If the eggs aren’t already hard boiled, cook them. I use Martha Stewart’s perfect method: Add water to cover the eggs by 1 inch, in a medium pot. Over medium heat, bring the water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, remove the pot from heat and let it stand for 12 minutes. Rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process.
2) Peel eggs and finely chop. Combine eggs, mayonnaise, celery, tarragon, vinegar, and salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Stir to mix thoroughly.
3) Toast the bread slices, in batches, until stiff but not burnt. Layer two romaine leaves on one slice of bread. Top with 1/3 of the egg salad mixture and the second slice of bread.