Deviled Eggs with Sidewalk Greens

deviled eggs w weeds

A recent last minute request for deviled eggs, which I usually make with lots of herbs, presented yet another opportunity to NOT go to the store. I stepped out my back door and found lots of pop weed, aka Hairy Bittercress, a few puny parsley sprigs, a little marjoram and thyme.  I wrote about Hairy Bittercress in my very first blog post and it remains noteworthy.

Loathed by farmers and many gardeners it is a quickly spreading pest that is best removed before it goes to seed and its seeds “pop” and explode everywhere. However, in January when you need something fresh, green and spicy to add to salads, soups, or deviled eggs, it is a welcome weed.

Hairy BittercressStep outside and look around the sidewalk crevices or little muddy patches along a garden path and you will likely find it, if you live in a climate that is temperate and damp in the winter.

Most any other spicy/peppery green or herb will work beautifully in rich deviled eggs. Finely chop arugula, mint, watercress. . . .and stir into the yolk mixture.

deviled egg w weeds prep II

Deviled Eggs with Bittercress and  Herbs

6 eggs
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped Hairy Bittercress (or other spicy green, see above)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, marjoram, cilantro, etc.
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cover eggs generously with cold water and bring to a boil. As soon as the water is boiling turn off the heat. For eggs where you want the yolk firm but not dry, as for deviled eggs,leave in hot water for 10-11 minutes depending on the size of the eggs. Drain and fill pot with cold water to stop cooking. (For eggs that have solid yolks but have a slightly creamier interior to use in salads, Salad Nicoise, etc. take out of hot water after 8-9 minutes.)

Peel eggs and slice eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop out yolks and put into a bowl. Mash with a fork and add the remainder of the ingredients until well mixed. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Fill mixture back into egg halves with a teaspoon. Decorate with a bit of the chopped herbs if you like.

Less Shopping, More Chopping!

radish fennel carrot cilantro garnish

2 radishes, 1/2 a fennel bulb, 2 small carrots, some cilantro, plus plenty of lime juice, salt, a little oil. This finely chopped garnish enabled us to have leftover black beans and rice (from the freezer–I always make more than I need in the moment) for dinner. Simple, fresh, filling and wholly sufficient.

I want to make two points: One, texture matters and finely chopping vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds, whatever, can create a bright, rich garnish/salad/condiment that provides enough flavor to enliven plain things/staples–beens, rice, soup, roasted veg, eggs, etc.

Two, having vegetables on hand means you don’t have to run to the store last minute and instead can scrounge leftover bits, like the ones above, to create abundant flavor. Having a CSA or getting produce at a farmers’ market or store on a regular basis means you can spend the time you might have gone shopping, making fun food.

The thrill of seemingly making something out of nothing never wears off for me. I literally chuckle to myself with glee, cheap thrills, I know.

Happy New Year and Happy Chopping!