Like most college students, when I was in college, I ate out quite a bit. I went to college in Berkeley, and there was no shortage of good, affordable food around. Having lived at home all my life until that point, I had mostly eaten Chinese food and had never really ventured a whole lot out of my ethnic cuisine. However that all changed when I got to college and would meet up with friends to grab a bite to eat in and around campus. While I got to sample exotic, spicy fair like Thai and Burmese food, I also got to try more typical American fare, like the sandwiches we would get from a local deli. One of my favorites was the egg salad sandwich at Saul’s Delicatessen. I had never had egg salad prior to that point in my life, and I immediately took to it. Now I know egg salad can be kind of bland and boring to some, but since I was new to it and pretty much loved eggs in all forms (except scrambled), egg salad sandwiches became a sort of staple in my college diet.
For whatever reason, I never even attempted to make egg salad myself until I came across a recipe for it in one of my stockpile of food magazines. What immediately caught my attention about this recipe was the inclusion of pimiento-stuffed green olives. Now, olives, like cheese, was not something I ate a whole lot of until I got to college. For the longest time, my idea of good cheese were the slices of American processed cheese that came in individually wrapped packages at the supermarket. Similarly, my idea of good olives were the dark ones that came in a can that was sprinkled on pizza. While my taste in cheese has greatly improved, my palate for olives has at least started to embrace the green ones, although my favorites are still those black ones. Regardless, the inclusion of green olives in this egg salad recipe really gives it that extra zing that the egg salads I had in college were missing. Their briny, sharp flavor really cuts through the blandness of the eggs and other ingredients, making what can be considered boring, more interesting.
EGG SALAD SANDWICHES
(Adapted from Southern Living magazine)
6 large hard-cooked eggs *
2 Tbsp finely chopped celery
2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp minced onion
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup sliced, pimiento-stuffed green olives
6 to 8 bread slices, depending on how big you like your sandwiches
1) Finely chop hard-cooked eggs.
2) Add the remaining ingredients, except the olives, and mix well to combine.
3) Gently stir in the olives.
4) Cover and chill.
5) Divide the salad among half of the bread slices. Top with remaining slices.
* To hard-cook eggs: Place raw eggs in a pan, and cover with water. Place lid over pan and cook on high heat until the water starts to boil. Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat off, and let the eggs sit covered, for about 10 minutes. Drain the water, and either place the entire pan with the eggs in the fridge to cool completely, or run the eggs under cold water to cool before peeling.
What do you remember eating from your college days? Please share in the comments.