Egg, potato and goat cheese salad in butter lettuce cups
It is hard to drag me away from the kitchen this time of year. I have so much fun cooking and photographing the foods. Of course I have to squeeze “life” in there and I have a long list of other pursuits that interest me but I must say that the creative element of cooking, styling, photographing food and sharing it on this blog gives me a lot of pleasure. This week I have been sticky with meringue up to my elbows (umm, not quite but you get the picture), but that’s for another post.
For today I am offering something fun and simple to make that can work for lunch or even as an appetizer. I was making hard boiled eggs for a photography assignment this week (deviled eggs) and decided to use the left over eggs along with small new potatoes to make a little impromptu summary salad. Instead of serving it the usual way I thought of spooning a little into butter lettuce cups made from the inner leaves of this beautiful lettuce. In one bite you experience the silky crunch of the inner leaves with the velvety texture of the eggs, the surprising crunch of the radishes, the lemony goat cheese and the pungent fresh aroma of the chives. Food is meant to be savoured and contemplated, even in one bite portions. If you use the smallest inner leaves of the lettuce then it makes a lovely one bite appetizer. Larger leaves naturally would make a more substantial portions that you can serve for lunch. As I am not one to leave bread out of anything, I serve it with some beautiful bread.
Japanese cooking is another thing on my list. It is such a measured, disciplined way of eating and so aesthetic. I will look into it at the first opportunity. Last week we attended a Japanese concert, Haruka Naru Hibiki at a local theatre. This was a joined performance by two Japanese groups, Ensemble Liberta and Wadaiko Tokara. Kazuko Takeda, the leader of the Ensemble group played the koto (Japanese harp), a horizontal string instrument and the national instrument of Japan. Together with bamboo flute, double base and a keyboard we were treated to an assortment of eastern and western music with all sounds generated from these instruments alone. Did you know that a Japanese harp can sound like a guitar? The Wadaiko Tokara group gave an incredible performance on ancient style Japanese drum, incorporating martial art, dance and music into a streamlined visual-sound performance that left us gasping for more. They are soon beginning a two year world tour and if you can catch a performance I would say don’t miss it.
Back to food. Here is the simple recipe for the egg and potato salad to spoon into the tender inner leaves of a butter lettuce.
4 eggs, hard boiled
3 potatoes, steamed
2 radishes, diced small
1/2 cup mayo
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoon goat cheese, optional
1/4 cup chives, chopped
Salt, pepper, paprika
1 head butter lettuce, inner leaves only
Place the eggs in a pot, cover with cold water by about 2 inches above the eggs and bring to a boil.
Once the water comes to a full boil remove the pot from the heat, cover with a lid and let rest 10 full minutes.
Remove eggs from the pot and rinse with cold water.
When the eggs have cooled remove shells and chop the eggs into small pieces. Place in a bowl.
Steam the potatoes until you can easily insert a knife through them, then remove the skin.
Dice the potatoes into small dice and add to the eggs.
Combine mayo with mustard and cheese and mix with the potatoes and eggs.
Dice the radishes into small dice and add to the bowl.
Add chives, salt and pepper to the egg and potatoes and mix gently to combine.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Peel the outer leaves of the lettuce and save for another use.
Peel back the smaller cup shaped inner leaves.
Spoon a little chilled egg and potato salad into each cup.
You can garnish with paprika and extra chopped chives.