The week before Easter brings to mind happy childhood memories of brightly dyed eggs. The week after Easter, however, reminds me of opening my lunchbox to find egg salad sandwiches in strange shades of blue or pink. As a kid, I viewed hard-boiled eggs as a fun tradition before Easter and an unfortunate problem afterward.
Well, times have changed. In the All About Eggs post, I mentioned how much my family likes eggs, a cheap and versatile protein. I like keeping hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator to use as a portable snack or topping for salads.
Originally, I’d planned to title this post “How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs.” You know, ones with rich yellow yolks and firm whites that are a breeze to peel. I used to be able to do it, but the past three attempts to make hard boiled eggs have resulted in undercooked yolks and shells that are incredibly hard to peel. My hard-boiled eggs would make Martha Stewart weep.
I plan to tweak my method a bit next time (see recipe below), but I am open to advice. Seriously, what am I doing wrong?!
Today’s recipe comes from Heidi Swanson’s book, Super Natural Everyday: Well Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen (Amazon). She is one of my favorite cookbook authors and food bloggers (read more below).
This salad, a Broccoli Gribiche, combines roasted potatoes and broccoli with hard boiled eggs, swirled in a flavorful vinaigrette dressing. You toss everything together while slightly warm and serve at room temperature. It is easily my favorite way to use hard-boiled eggs; the leftovers are great for lunch the next day.
While it may look like there are many steps in this recipe, it actually comes together really quickly and easily (around 25 minutes). Cook the eggs and make the dressing while the broccoli and potatoes are roasting. You want a slight char on the broccoli and deep caramelization on the potatoes. Don’t think you like broccoli? You’ve got to try roasting it. Even my 2-year old son gobbles it down.
The main changes I made to Heidi Swanson’s recipe was in the herbs and seasonings. For simplicity’s sake, I omit the original recipe’s capers, shallots, and tarragon and just use parsley and chives. Feel free to mix and match with any combination you have on hand.
Recipe adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday (Amazon)
1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes (any waxy type works great; avoid baking potatoes), unpeeled and scrubbed
1/2 c. plus 2 T. olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
12 ounces broccoli cut into florets
4 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
2 T. red wine vinegar
1-2 t. Dijon mustard
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 T. chopped chives or green onion
- Place eggs in a single layer in a medium saucepan and cover with about 1 inch of cold water.
- Bring to a boil and simmer gently for one minute. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let the eggs sit in the hot water for 10 minutes.
- Drain the hot water, and place the eggs into a bowl filled with ice water until cool. Peel.
Broccoli and Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the potatoes into 1-1 1/2″ chunks. Using your hands, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn them onto a sheet pan; sprinkle with salt. Put the potatoes in the oven and roast them until they are cooked through and browned (about 20 minutes); do not stir or move the potatoes during this time for best results.
- About 10 minutes before you think the potatoes are done, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the broccoli and toss to coat. Arrange the broccoli in a single layer on a sheet pan; sprinkle with salt. Put the broccoli into the oven and roast untouched; the potatoes and broccoli should be done about the same time and both should show signs of browning and slight char (on the broccoli).
- Remove the yolk of one of the hard-boiled eggs and mash in a medium sized bowl. Slowly add 1/2 cup of olive oil beating constantly with a wire whisk.
- Whisk in the vinegar, followed by the mustard, whisking each ingredient into the dressing. Stir in the herbs and salt, to taste. Chop the peeled hard-boiled eggs and add them to the dressing.
Place the warm potatoes and broccoli into a large bowl and gently fold in the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve at room temperature.
I can’t say enough good things about Heidi Swanson’s cookbook, Super Natural Everyday: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen (or her blog, 101 Cookbooks). Her books have changed the way I think about, shop for, and prepare food more than any other cookbooks I own (find more of my favorite cookbooks here).
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For hard boiled eggs, my mom puts a single layer in a pan and covers them with cold water, brings them to a boil and cooks them at a low boil for 20 minutes, then removes them from the heat and runs them under cold water. Now I swear she used to cook them with a lid on, but now she doesn’t and either way, they work better than anything else for me! I tried my Grandmas method cooking 10 minutes and sitting 10 minutes and ended up with runny eggs–a nasty surprise!
The trick I found that worked well for peeling the eggs was to tap the large end with a spoon to break the shell (there is a little membrane pocket on the end) and then gently tap the entire egg with the spoon to crack the shell, then peel. I got this from Martha Stewart’s website and it has worked the best so far!
Cathy facer says
Yes use eggs a week old. Put in cold water, one layer. Bring to a boil, turn off heat. Let it set covered 15 minuets. Roll an egg in your hand unti it is cracked all over. Hold under cold running water and peel while doing this. I have very good luck with this method.
I consider myself a smart capable woman…until it comes to making hardboiled eggs. I’m looking forward to your solution. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday.
Leslie Lambert says
Oh my…what a creative and delicious dish! This would be perfect to link up to my Create It Thursday post…it’s live now! http://www.lambertslately.com/2013/06/create-it-thursday-8-plus-features.html
April @ The 21st Century Housewife says
Your Broccoli Gribiche recipe sounds really delicious – I love roasting vegetables and potatoes, and the addition of the hard boiled eggs is lovely. I like the dressing too. I like to keep hard boiled eggs on hand in the fridge as well and sometimes I find they are easy to peel, sometimes hard to peel! It seems to be pretty random, but using very fresh eggs helps. I also turn the heat off on my eggs as soon as they come to the boil and then leave them for ten minutes. Hope those tips help 🙂
Had this for dinner tonight. We loved it. A great new combination for common ingredients.
Don’t boil your eggs, steam them!
We have our own backyard flock and so our eggs are sometimes just an hour or two fresh from the hen. Using my double boiler, I fill the bottom with water and pile the eggs in the top boiler. Cover and steam them for about 25-30 minutes. Peels beautifully and for some reason seems to reduce that ‘boiled egg’ smell.
Thanks for the recipe! I can totally make this and we just so happen to have a ton of chives growing at the new place!
So I put the eggs in a pot add water and sprinkle with salt, which helps when you peel the eggs so the shells comes off easy. Put on stove for 40 minutes on medium heat, set the timer and thats it. As soon as the timer goes off drain the water and put eggs immediately in fridge for a few hours. perfect eggs every time 🙂
I tried bringing eggs to a boil, then letting it sit for 10min, then ice bath for 10. After coloring them beautifully, I went to eat one and it was completely runny inside. Not cooked at all! I’m going back to over- boiling! I have to throw out all our pretty eggs 🙁
Emily from Frugal Living NW says
That’s crazy! I was letting them sit for 7 minutes covered before (Heidi Swanson’s directions). They were cooked, but the yolks were slightly gummier than I like. I can’t imagine them being runny after 10 minutes. Were they extra large eggs or crowded in the saucepan?
I’m excited to try this! Has anyone tried this? I have a really picky husband, but all the ingredients suprisingly are things he likes.
I just did hard boiled eggs the other day, and this has always worked for me…
Put eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Fill with cold water, until eggs are covered. Place on stove and bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, set a timer for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, cover with a lid, and time the eggs for another 8 minutes. Pour out hot water, cover with cold and throw in some ice cubes. When the eggs are cooled, I then put them in a container in the fridge.
They’ve always been easy to peel and no grey yolk.
The recipe above looks tasty! Now I know what to do with some of those Easter leftovers. :o)
I use my steamer to make hard boiled eggs. I picked up a vegitable steamer at my local goodwill for $5.00. I printed out the book from online since the book was missing. In the book was a time for hard boiled eggs. They come out perfect every time!! I have owned my steamer now for about 6 months and that is the only was I cook my eggs. This is the steamer I found and yes I got an incredible deal on it: http://www.shoposter.com/product_detail.asp?T1=OST+5712&.
Mary B says
I have a steamer like yours and never thought of cooking eggs in it. How long do they have to steam?
15-18 Minutes. If you need the manual for it Mary, it is here:
I really agree about the roasted vegs too (thanks to this site’s recipe-it is my new favorite recipe & so easy)-Totally different flavor-I like vegs anyway-but way better roasted.
Unfortunately didn’t change my picky son’s opinion of them, but he keeps trying his bitea & hopefully will actually like them someday.
Since I bought an electric pressure cooker and stumbled upon the following link the eggs are always perfect. Even fresh eggs peel perfectly. http://www.hippressurecooking.com/2011/04/hip-modernist-soft-medium-and-hard.html
This is a bit different, I think I got it from Rachel Ray. Place eggs in pan with cold water, set on high, as soon as it boils, turn the heat off and let them sit. Next time I am in the kitchen, or when the water is just warmish or cooler, I dump the water, shake the pan to crack the eggs, then let them sit in very cold water. Rarely do I have trouble peeling them, but sometimes. So I’m trying to store them sitting in the cold water in the fridge. I think I will try the baking soda idea though.
You must begin with cold water and I also add some salt in the water. Bring to full boil, cover and let sit for 15 minutes, then in ice water.
My mother always added salt to the water and I know that it works because when I forget to add it, I sure see the difference. And just like Melody said above, once boiled eggs get cold, especially when placed in the fridge, then it becomes difficult to peel.
Yup, fresh egss are hard to peel. I have chickens and I rotate fresh eggs so the oldest are the ones boiled.
I bring them to a rapid boil, turn off heat let sit for 20 minutes, put in ice cold water. I always crack them some as I put them in the cold water. The water gets under the shell and makes it easier to peel.
My hens are laying like crazy, and I have about 7 doz ahead
I worked in restaurants for years and to steam your eggs works great! Steam them for 15 min and then into an ice bath for 10 min. Also use eggs that are a week old. Fresh eggs are hard to peel because of the membrane
I do the same as Sarah, but let sit for 15 minutes exactly. As soon as the timer goes off, I dump them in an ice bath for about 10 minutes. I’ve definitely found that you want them still slightly warm when peeling or it’s next to impossible.
I tried this super fancy way with baking soda and pricking a hole in the top and standing on my head while they cooked, but my simple way works better. Not always 100% foolproof depending on which child needs help climbing off the roof when the timer goes off, but pretty close.
“I tried this super fancy way with baking soda and pricking a hole in the top and standing on my head while they cooked, but my simple way works better. Not always 100% foolproof depending on which child needs help climbing off the roof when the timer goes off, but pretty close.”
That recipe looks delicious! I will be making it soon
Try baking them preheat oven to 325, put eggs in muffin tin cook for 30 minutes put in ice water bath for 10 minutes. May have some brown spots on the shell when you take them out of the oven but will come off in the water
The secret to the most peelable eggs is….
Not kidding, any egg fresh or old, big or small, will peel like its been greased up if you add 1 tbsp (I just shake a bunch in) to your boiling water, before you lower the eggs in. I actually use a steamer basket and steam the eggs in the Baking soda water, I steam for almost 15 minutes and then let them cool off at room temp for a while. TRY IT!!
Thanks for the tip!!
Cindy Gronbach says
I have my own chickens, so my eggs are *really* fresh, thus very hard to peel. I got a set of Eggies at a rummage sale. Haven’t tried them yet, but you break the egg into the eggie, and boil the eggie, so no shell to have to peel off. I bring my pan of eggs to a hard boil, turn off the heat, and let them sit for about 20 minutes before putting them in a cold water bath.
Pat Kominsky says
I bought Eggies and used them once. Like so many of the so-called kitchen shortcuts I found them to be a pain in the a** and went back to the usual way. I’m sure someone else had the same experience which is why you got them. If you do use them I hope you have luck with them.
Fresh eggs are really hard to peel. I buy and hold for at least a week before I boil them. Put a layer of eggs in a pot and cover with 1″ cold water…bring to a boil. Then remove from heat and cover and let it sit for 10 min. After 10 min put the eggs in an ice water bath. Peel & eat!
I had a horrible experience with eggs last year-brought them to our friends to make this cute deviled egg “egg” dip, but they wouldn’t peel at all-AFTERWARDS my mom told me the same thing-new eggs don’t peel well. I had gotten nice fresh eggs to take. Also NEVER put them in the microwave to cook just a bit more… = huge explosion all over! I learned two very good lessons 🙂
Ha! Love the egg explosion story!
(said the girl who ruined perfectly good leftovers this week by nuking them in a not safe for microwave dish)
I love both of you, but please don’t ever invite me over for dinner. I value my life too much. EGG-SPLOSIONS?
PS: A very happy Easter a toutes mes amies!