I don't know how this deliciously weird recipe idea drifted into my subconscious, but I'm grateful it did. For those of you who find yourself at the end of Easter with heaps and bounds of leftover hard-boiled eggs, this egg-salad sandwich with a twist smacks a savory treat. Perfect for brunch, breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can really sink your teeth into this sandwich's layers of toasted sourdough, eggs, pancetta, shallots, and roasted bell pepper dressing with fresh tarragon. The following ingredients can be whipped into shape a day in advance; if you're a genius at multi-tasking in the kitchen, then you'll have no problem crafting these tasty culinary elements simultaneously just shortly before serving. But otherwise, if you're like me and enjoy taking your time, go easy on yourself and prepare each key ingredient for the sandwich one-by-one ahead of time. The end result is delicious—a rich, well-dressed egg-salad sandwich like no other.
SLO EGG SANDWICH
Serves 4 - 8 depending on how generous you are with your toppings.
8 - 12 hard-boiled eggs (instructions follow)
1 cup shallots, peeled & sliced
3 oz. pancetta, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil + 2 teaspoons
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
2 roasted red bell peppers (instructions follow)
2 - 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 - 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 loaf sliced cracked wheat sourdough bread
1 small head red leaf lettuce, washed and leaves torn
If you don't have any leftover eggs from Easter, here's the skinny on how I make mine. Place eggs in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn off heat; cover with a lid and set your timer for 10 minutes. Once time is up remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl with ice for 20 minutes; or, stick them in a bowl without ice and place in the freezer for 20 minutes. When they're done cooling, place eggs in the fridge and allow to sit for at least 2 hours before peeling.
Roasted Red Bell Peppers
Preheat oven to broil. Place the whole peppers on a baking sheet and place in oven. Keep your tongs handy and allow each side of peppers to char slightly before turning (can take anywhere between 5 - 10 minutes for each side depending on the size of your peppers and the heat of your broiler). Keep an eye on them and turn as needed until the peppers are evenly roasted and wilted. Remove from oven and place in a small brown paper bag.
Place bag on a plate (as the peppers are juicy and will leak) for about 20 minutes until cooled. Remove peppers from the bag and place on the plate or a cutting board. Peel the charred skin off and pull off the stems and scrape out any seeds. Do not rinse the peppers under water as this will wash away the wonderful flavors that have developed from the roasting process! Place the peppers in an airtight glass container and put in the fridge until you're ready to make your sauce for the sandwiches.
Sautéed Shallots & Pancetta
Heat olive oil over medium heat and add shallots. Use just a tiny pinch of salt (and some pepper) as the pancetta will impart more than enough salt. Sauté the shallots for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they start to develop some caramel color. Add the pancetta and stir for 2 - 3 more minutes. Finally, add the tarragon leaves and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool. If you're not making your sandwich until the next day, store this rich, fragrant mixture in a covered glass bowl in the fridge. Allow it to come back to room temperature before placing on your sandwich.
Roasted Bell Pepper Dressing
Place roasted peppers in a blender with 2 teaspoons each of olive oil, Dijon mustard, and vinegar. Add salt & pepper and 1 tablespoon tarragon leaves. Blend well, taste, and adjust for seasonings. Add more mustard and vinegar if you think the sauce needs a bit more tanginess. If you'd like a creamier texture, add the mayonnaise and blend.
When you're ready to assemble your sandwiches, peel the hard-boiled eggs and chop coarsely in a bowl; sprinkle with salt & pepper. Lightly toast the bread, then spread each piece with dressing. Throw on some lettuce, then add layers of eggs and shallot/pancetta mixture. The flavors of this sandwich—the rich eggs and pancetta, the sweet shallots and bell peppers—all meld perfectly, tied nicely together with the fresh, intriguing taste of tarragon.
Serve with a glass of your favorite dry sparkling wine.
Now that's a good egg!
All Text and Photos Copyright © 2012 by Elizabeth in SLO. All Rights Reserved.