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Originally, I thought I would keep this post short and sweet. It's egg salad, after all. How much could you say on the subject?
Quite a bit, as it turns out. While working with each ingredient, I thought about preparing them the way I did, and how the sum of its parts adds up to a sublime sandwich that has everything going for it: flavor and texture, crisp and creamy.
These herb avocado egg salad tea sandwiches recently graced the tiered platters of an afternoon tea baby shower that I had the pleasure to host. Some guests asked for the recipe, and since Mother's Day is coming up soon, as well as picnics and other spring parties, I decided to share my method here.
We also just picked up six spring chickens from a nearby farm and are already getting our first brown eggs from the chicks. Also, my chives start to take off in the garden. As you can see, eggs and herbs are always the first harvest on our urban farm, and these delicate tea sandwiches are a perfect way to celebrate.
Let's break down (excuse the pun) and see how they're made.
A decent egg salad requires a variety of textures.Although I must point out that this is a matter of personal preference. Maybe you like big chunks of pickles in your mix (I prefer mine aside) or you prefer bigger chunks of boiled egg (no). In fact, I start by grating my cold, hard-boiled eggs on the large side of a box grater, giving me an almost fluffy result that's perfectly even.
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Then I start to superimpose the textures and flavors. Squash and seasoned avocado is key to uniting the ingredients. It also keeps the filling moist instead of mayonnaise. Why is there no mayonnaise? Again, personal preference, I do not like the taste of mayonnaise, but also for health reasons. I'd rather go with a natural ingredient than a processed one. And yes, you can make your own mayonnaise (and in the peak tomato season, sure it does!) But this is also supposed to be a pretty quick and simple sandwich.
Next, finely diced celery for crunch and nostalgia. I always make sure the celery is washed and dry, so it doesn't help add moisture to the sandwich.
Then a tablespoon of fresh cream adds the necessary creaminess. You can also add sour cream, but I always have fresh cream on hand, homemade or purchased. (I am currently loving the little jars of Riviera)
Then I add herbs, then I add chopped chives for some allium (onion family) that is mild enough to complement the egg rather than overpower it. I also discovered that raw onion tends to cry when mixed with salt and turns into a liquid filling. No thanks. If you can't get chives, try the tops of the green onions or ramps. ‘It's the season, after all.
Finally, the parsley, chopped very well, so it should not be confused with herb. You know what I mean; those threads that get stuck in the teeth: No thanks!
A well-balanced and delicious tea sandwich requires some elaboration. Make it too wet and the bread will soak up; too dry and guests will have to drown them between sips of tea. Too much filler and everything falls apart; very little filler appears as simple stupidity on your part.
I opt for whole grain bread slices with lots of flavor. The best is homemade, as long as it is fresh and not too crumbly. Soft, salty butter is also essential, spread on both sides of the sandwich to prevent bread from soaking in and helping to adhere the sandwich. I add about half a cup of filling for each sandwich and distribute it evenly.
Instead of lettuce, I prefer to use onion sprouts with pepper as an addition. They are fairly easy to find at grocery stores or you can sprout yours. The sprouts add a little extra punch to the sandwich and give it a spring feel. Wild dandelion leaves would also be spicy and delicious. They are young and tender now, and you will discover that they are not too bitter.
If you have flavored salts on hand, such as lemon salt or herbal salt, sprinkle a little when making sandwiches and further enhance the flavors.
I cut the crusts, so there is no need to bring the filling directly to the edges of the bread, as shown in the image. I press gently to adhere the ingredients, trim the edges, and cut each sandwich into four fingers.
Serve your herb avocado egg salad tea sandwiches with a pitcher of homemade spring pickles and a kettle.
You don't need to wait for an occasion to mix a bowl of egg salad with herbs, though I think these sandwiches would be a simple yet elegant tea for Mother's Day. Perhaps paired with Triple Berry Scones and a pink Raspberry Rhubarb Punch?
Herbed Egg and Avocado Salad Tea Sandwiches
Creamy and crispy, this egg salad is simple but sophisticated. Prepare a batch of sandwiches for a spring picnic or a fancy afternoon tea party.
Preparation time: 30 minutes.
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 20 small tea sandwiches.
- 7 medium eggs
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 tablespoons of fresh cream or sour cream
- 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons softened salted butter
- 10 slices of whole wheat bread
- 25 grams onion sprouts
Place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with an inch of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for a minute.
Turn off the burner. Cover the pot with a lid and let sit for 10 minutes. Prepare an ice water bath.
Drain the eggs and soak in the ice bath. Chill for at least 15 minutes. Peel and dry the eggs.
In a large bowl, grate the eggs on the large side of a box grater. Finely chop the celery and add about 1/4 cup. Add the fresh cream and then sprinkle the herbs on top.
Cut avocado in half, remove the pit, and remove the meat in a separate container. Crush the avocado, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add the avocado puree to the grated egg.
Fold all the sandwich ingredients together gently until well combined. Try and add more salt if you need it.
Roll out the slices of bread and use them generously. Divide the egg salad among five slices and spread it evenly. Rub a small nest of onion sprouts on the opposite piece of bread. Wall the two sides together and press firmly down.
Cut off the crusts with a serrated knife and cut the sandwiches into four fingers each. Arrange in a platter and serve immediately.
Sandwiches will keep tightly wrapped in plastic for up to four hours in the refrigerator.
I've been trading crushed avocado for mayonnaise for a while. Let's see, there's another sandwich on file, a Cobb salad sandwich with bacon, ham, tomatoes … and a creamy avocado sauce. I keep that recipe in my back pocket to also use leftover chicken and turkey.
Another favorite snack for lunch is my avocado egg salad lettuce wraps, which are topped with crispy bacon and are dairy-free. And God, how could I not mention the Guacamole Stuffed Eggs? Another winning recipe that combines eggs and avocado.
Avocado With Salad Herbs Egg Sandwiches Tea