I’ve never quite understood the name for Deviled Eggs, because there’s nothing devilish about them other than someone might have the sudden and rude impulse to scarf multiple down at once, leaving little for anyone else (guilty).
In Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal, she says, “Eggs should be laid by chickens that have as much of a say in it as any of us about egg laying does. Their yolks should, depending on the time of year, range from buttercup yellow to marigold. They should come from as nearby as possible.We don’t all live near cattle ranches, but most of us live surprisingly close to someone raising chickens for eggs.” For deviled eggs, this could not be more important, as it’s a dish entirely based on the quality of the yolks.
You will understand exactly what Tamar means when you have the pleasure of cooking with and eating a fresh egg, laid by pasture-raised hens allowed to peck in the grass and preen in the sunlight. The yolks stand up like firm breasts, rich in color and nutrition. Even more satisfying are the Easter-like green, blue and speckled eggs laid by heirloom chickens, which I first discovered farming at Millstone Farm.
Tamar continues, “Boiled eggs are almost as underappreciated as boiling water […] I don’t know why we make it so difficult. Perhaps we can’t bear the simplicity of it.” Of course, she’s right! Boiling an egg requires just a small “moment of consideration” and gives birth to favorite dishes like egg salad, nicoise salad, cobb salad, thick slabs of toasted bread with butter and boiled egg, a friendly surprise in a bowl of soup, and the classic hor d’oeuvres – deviled eggs. This variation of deviled eggs is inspired by two of my favorite garnishes: basil and homemade kimchi (though you can find store-bought kimchi nearly anywhere these days).
- 12 farm-fresh eggs
- 2/3 cup kimchi, finely minced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
- 4 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
- 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- Place the eggs in a medium pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and set the timer for 10 minutes. When the timer beeps, drain the eggs and transfer them to a bowl of ice water. One by one, peel the eggs. Rinse away clinging shell and compost.
- Use a pairing knife to slice around the middle of an egg, splitting it in half. Use a spoon to pop out the yolk into a medium bowl. Place the hollowed, hard egg whites on a serving platter.
- Add the kimchi, yogurt, sesame oil, Sriracha, and sea salt to the yolks, and whip with a fork until creamy and thoroughly mixed together.
- Spoon the yolk back into the hollows of the whites.
- Scatter toasted sesame seeds over top and garnish with smoked paprika and basil.