I saw it on Orangette, who warned in no equivocal terms: this is not a beautiful egg salad. She was right. Indeed, this is not a good-looking salad. In fact, it is as ugly as dark stormy night. But, the flavors! Oh, the flavors! It is just something that you cook, and have to it eat. And eat it again. And again. And again… I now do it in relatively large batches, and try to make it last through the week by carefully rationing the portions. The flavors deepen over time, and can be eaten warm or cold. In the original recipe, the salad is served over toasted bread.
As I still cannot see mayonnaise in front of me without feeling nauseous, I replaced it with home-made mustard vinaigrette. I used the recipe of The Reluctant Gourmet. Actually, his post on home-made vinaigrette is worthwhile reading if you have a vinaigrette fetich – it is one of the most comprehensive and detailed explanations I have seen. Not that I have seen many, but after reading his, I don’t feel the need to look at something else.
Russian egg and mushroom salad with mustard vinaigrette
- 5 tablespoons of canola oil (I replaced it with olive oil, as usual)
- 500g mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch of finely chopped fresh dill (about 1/3 of a cup)
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 glove of garlic, smashed
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I also use old style mustard with all its grains)
- 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
- pinch of dried parsley
- pinch of dried thyme
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, and add the mushrooms. (If they don’t all fit in the pan at once, let the first panful wilt down a bit, and then add the rest. It’ll work out fine.) Cook, stirring often, until lighly browned, 14-16 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Wipe out the frying pan.
Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan over medium-high heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to soften; then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until lightly caramelized, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms. Add the dill and eggs, and stir to mix.
For the vinaigrette, in a clean jar or small bowl, add the vinegar, garlic, mustard and mix well. Slowly add the olive oil while either whisking or stirring rapidly with your fork (I use a small stirrer, and add 1 spoon of olive oil at a time). Add the parsley and thyme, salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.
If you really must use mayonnaise, the in a small bowl, whisk together a 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, with 2 tablespoons of mustard, and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
Pile the salad on lightly toasted bread – preferably sourdough rye, if you’ve got some – and serve open-faced.