Isn’t it weird they’re called “deviled” eggs? I think this characterization of them as being somehow affiliated with the devil himself, is wholly appropriate. I think of Momofuku’s Crack Pie.
Some foods are just so good that they’ll ruin your life. Just kidding.
And being curious, I looked it up. In the 18th century the term “deviled” originally referred to any food that was flavored in some form, usually made to be spicy or heavily seasoned.
But I discovered and was surprised to learn that deviled eggs have their roots in Ancient Roman cuisine – and would be served as an appetizer for nobles. They’d combine it with some liquid – wine, broth, and some spice – usually pepper.
They have evolved a lot since then. And other cultures have adopted different variations.
Lucky Peach, which was an amazing publication that I miss so damn much, posted a recipe several years back that I can’t locate online. But it was a traditional take on a home-style version of Asian stuffed eggs (I cannot remember which country it was indigenous to), and it was a presentation I was entirely unfamiliar with. The stuffed eggs were served whites side up, garnished on top with a thin slice of carrot, with rolls of sliced mozzarella cheese served in the middle of the plate.
For some reason its simplicity appealed to me. I think that’s why deviled eggs have stuck around for so long.
Regular American deviled eggs nowadays, the sad, couple-day old ones you find sitting in the prepared food section of your grocery store, will typically combine the yolks, go heavy on the mayonnaise, of course – because, why not – toss in some yellow mustard and sprinkle a bit of paprika.
Do not get me wrong, I love the classic good-old-American deviled egg.
But for those looking to expand their deviled egg horizons, here’s a fun, more elevated version of the classic. I hope you’ll like it. There’s infinite ways to transform the incredible, edible egg.
I N G R E D I E N T S
This recipe will produce 12 deviled eggs. Double (or triple) the amount as necessary. 😊
- 6 high-quality fresh eggs (the larger the egg, the better)
- 2 oz. high-grade raw tuna, finely minced
- 1 1 / 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon sour cream
- 1 Teaspoon olive oil
- 1 Teaspoon capers, minced
- 1 Teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 anchovies, finely minced
- 4 Nicoise olives, finely minced*
- Pinch of pepper
*If you don’t have Nicoise olives (I know I can’t always find them), black olives will work just as well as a substitute.
O p t i o n a l
For those of you anchovy lovers like me, in addition to the tarragon leaf, top each egg with an anchovy filet cut in half for extra salty and fishy goodness.
D I R E C T I O N S
- Submerge the eggs in cold water so all the eggs fit in one layer in the pot, and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover. Once boiled, remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, submerge the eggs in ice water until they are cool enough to peel.
- In my experience, the easiest way to peel boiled eggs is to lightly smash either side of the egg, roll it lightly from side to side, and then peel the shell off.
- Slice the eggs in half, removing the yolks into a small bowl. Arrange the egg whites on a plate and put them in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
- Vigorously combine the egg yolks with the rest of the ingredients with a fork until fully incorporated. Taste for seasonings. They’re shouldn’t be a need for additional salt, but add if needed.
- Remove the egg whites from the fridge. With a small 1-inch scoop, fill each egg white half with the filling.
- Garnish each egg with a tarragon leaf. Place the eggs back in the fridge for at least 15 minutes so the flavors have a chance to combine and the eggs have a chance to chill. If you can’t wait, room temperature works too.
- Serve, making sure you eat one (or two) first, because you never know how quickly they will disappear. It’s been known to happen.