Yes, it’s kind of too late for good spring veggies now. And Yes, I made this over month ago with the intention of sharing it when peas, lettuce, and chives were in their prime, but I was lazy about getting my act together to post it. But also—Yes, it was so light and delicious and springy that I ate it for lunch for two weeks in a row. And Yes, it is seriously the best egg salad I’ve ever had. And Yes, you could totally redo the green salad with summer produce. I’m thinking thinly sliced cucumbers, blanched green beans, and good tomatoes.
So, let’s step inside my time machine and go back to the garden circa mid-May. The tarragon, sage, and chives were so robust that after being delighted to see them coming back, I starting willing them to stop growing already! because they were taking over the herb garden. Thanks to weeks of showers, the lettuce was looking worthy of being displayed at a farmer’s market, and it had actually stopped raining long enough for me to go outside and pick some. And the peas were finally fattening up enough to convince me that they were, in fact, sweet peas and not sugar snaps. (I checked the seed package more than once to make sure.)
These vegetables needed to get eaten—not only because they were ready to be picked, but also because I had plans to rip them up in order to make room for planting tomatoes and green beans. Look, I have limited space, and peas and lettuce don’t get to extend their rent for a month when there are summer vegetables that need to get in the ground.
The lettuce I used, by the way, was Green Ice Lettuce from Burpee. I have planted many a mesclun mix that bolted too quickly and included some varieties with tough or bitter leaves, but this Green Ice lettuce was perfect if you’re looking for a crisp, sweet leaf. I will definitely stop experimenting with other types of lettuce and will be planting more of this next year.
I wanted to make a salad that would include my peas and other spring produce and herbs, but Woman Cannot Survive on Vegetables Alone. Egg salad to the rescue, made infinitely better with the addition of a can of smoked trout from Trader Joe’s. I held it together with more sour cream than mayo, because sour cream goes with fish, right? Bonus: if you have a super skinny dog like I do and are constantly trying to fatten her up (or at least convince her to eat her food), I can assure you that she will gobble up her whole bowl of kibble if you pour the leftover oil from the can of trout over it.
Note: The ranch dressing is adapted, barely, from the recipe in The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper by Lynn Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift.
Smoked Trout and Egg Salad Tartine + Green Salad with Peas, Radishes, and Homemade Ranch
For the egg salad:
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 1 can, about 4 oz., smoked trout (I used a 3.9 oz. can from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. sour cream
- 2 Tbsp. snipped chives
- scant 1/4 tsp. table salt
- a few grinds of freshly ground pepper
- 4 big slices good bread; the photo shows a smallish slice of rye but in week 2 of this meal, I discovered that a generous piece of an Italian boule is better
- Peel and coarsely chop the eggs. In a bowl, combine everything except the bread and smash together with a fork. Adjust seasoning if needed.
For the green salad:
- about 8 c. chopped or torn lettuce leaves
- about 1/2 c. sweet peas, blanched for 1 minute
- 1 c. sugar snap peas, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal into 1/2″ pieces
- 4 large radishes, trimmed and sliced as thinly as possible
- fresh chive blossoms
- Toss everything together. Or pile the lettuce on plates and arrange the veggies on top so it looks prettier.
For the dressing:
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- splash of fish sauce
- 1/4 c. mayonnaise
- 1/3 c. buttermilk
- 1 small garlic clove, minced or microplaned
- 1 tsp. each fresh basil, fresh parsley, and fresh chives, all chopped together
- salt and pepper
- Combine all of the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight lid. Shake to mix well. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
For the assembly:
- Toast the bread slices and top them with the egg salad.
- Dress the salad.
- Eat, and marvel at how satisfying vegetables and toast are. Yum yum yum.