Earth-Friendly Entertaining

EGG SALAD

More eggs are sold before Easter than at any other time of year. Fittingly, the week after is National Egg Salad Week. Eggs are sold in cartons to protect them while shipping and — because they have a porous skin — to avoid odors in the refrigerator. This sturdy carton is also a great way to serve eggs salad in eggshell cups. Simple wood paddles make perfect spoons for each eggshell.

Ingredients

18 eggs

saucepan to hold 6 eggs

mixing bowl

knife or mezzaluna

stockpot

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 stalks celery, finely diced

salt and pepper to taste

favorite mustard

plastic wrap

1 egg carton

1 ounce kelp caviar

12 wood spoons

1. Place 6 eggs in a saucepan that allows the eggs just enough space to lie together. Cover with 1 inch of room-temperature water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove eggs from water and submerge in large bowl of very cold water to chill.

2. Crack open the dozen uncooked eggs, using a knife to gently tap open the top end of the shell. You'll want to preserve 2/3 of the shell intact. Pour out the egg contents and set aside. (If lightly beaten together first, the eggs can be frozen in an airtight container for later use.)

3. Place the empty shells in a stockpot water bath and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cool, and clean. Set aside.

4. To crack cooked eggs, tap each against the counter and roll it under the palm of your hand to crackle the skin. Peel and discard shells.

5. Place cooked eggs in a large mixing bowl. Use a knife or mezzaluna to dice them, add ¼ cup of mayonnaise and diced celery, and mix well with a fork. Flavor with salt, pepper, and mustard to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

6. When ready to serve, remove the carton top and discard. Spoon egg salad into each eggshell, top with a ½ teaspoon of caviar, and nest in the carton with a spoon to serve.

Makes 12 servings.

For more of Maria's party ideas, visit her Web site at www.mariamcbride.com.

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