This easy, tasty, and beautifully colored egg salad will cheer you up at any time of a year, not only in springtime — even I have to admit the color is perfect for Easter and for spring. Read on to find out more about my experiments and how I chose the BEST seasoning to this recipe after tasting almost a dozen different spices and seasonings!
How to boil perfect eggs
You guessed it! As this is egg salad, you’ll naturally need hard-boiled eggs. But how to boil perfect eggs? Your goal is to get sturdy whites and creamy — yet solid — beautiful yellow yolks without any nasty gray color around them. And, you should be able to peel the eggs without any difficulties. So, how to reach this perfection?
For years, I used “the Finnish method” to boil eggs. That means, you place the eggs either into cold water and cook them 7 for minutes — or to boiling water and cook them for 10 minutes. Often, the eggs broke and cracked when I was boiling them, resulting in a huge mess as the interior spread to the water and caused some serious foaming and spilling. The result wasn’t even, either: the yolk was often slightly runny in the very center while the edges of the yolks were already turning nastily gray and green in color. Plus, the eggs were hard to peel.
Nowadays, I prefer to use a more “American-style” method that makes perfect hard-boiled eggs. So, here’s how to make perfect, hard-boiled eggs: Place the eggs into a saucepan. Pour in cold water so that the eggs are well covered. Bring to a boil. Once the eggs start boiling properly, turn off the heat. Let the eggs boil for exactly 1 minute, then remove the saucepan from the heat. Let the eggs stay in hot water for exactly 14 minutes (actually, the exact time depends on the altitude you live, so you might have to experiment here a little. Sometimes even 12 minutes is enough). When the time is passed, pour away the hot water and fill the saucepan with eggs with cold water. Let the eggs stay in the cold water until it’s time to use them. Like that, they are effortless to peel.
If you are planning to use the eggs later — let’s say the next day — just place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. If they are difficult to peel, crack the shells carefully all around and put them in a bowl with cold water for some minutes. That helps loosing the peel so that it’s easy to remove.
How to prepare the Egg Salad with Avocado
Now, when you’ve got your perfect, hard-boiled eggs, it’s time to prepare the egg salad.
I prefer to mash the eggs with a fork rather than chop them with a knife. Mashing is quick and easy — and less messy. (On the other hand, I wonder if anybody uses a knife for chopping the eggs for egg salad… I guess everybody prefers mashing them with a fork.)
Now, you basically could add the avocado and the yogurt to the mashed eggs — but I find it better to mash the avocado separately, add the yogurt to the mashed avocado, and then add this mixture to the eggs. Like that, the result is just perfect. The eggs won’t get too mashed, and you won’t end up with a paste — but with a deliciously chunky salad instead.
Once you’ve mixed the eggs, avocado, and yogurt, it’s time to season your egg salad. I prefer to add lots of fresh thyme (I emphasize the word fresh here!) and garlic. You can read more about my seasoning experiments from the next chapter and why I chose thyme for this recipe.
Even making this egg salad is super-simple, let’s take a better look with some step-by-step photos on how to make it:
First, take your perfect hard-boiled eggs and peel them. Place them into a bowl.
Mash them with a fork. Here you see how the eggs (should!) look now: perfect, solid but creamy yolk and sturdy whites.
And here are the mashed eggs.
Take the avocado and halve it. Twist it open.
Remove the pit by hitting a knife into the pit and twist the knife until you can pull out the pit.
Here we go.
Spoon the avocado into a small bowl.
Mash with a fork…
…until smooth and creamy.
Add the yogurt (1/2 cup = 120 ml)…
…and mix until smooth.
Combine the avocado and yogurt mixture with the mashed eggs.
Mix until well combined.
Crush two (or more, if you want!) garlic cloves. I love this handy tool! As it’s steel, it actually removes the garlicky odors from your hands as well.
Add the garlic to the egg mixture and mix well.
Next, chop enough fresh thyme (and chop it very fine)…
…that you’ll get 1/4 cup (60 ml). Add the thyme to the egg mixture. By the way, I also prefer to add a good pinch — or maybe even 1 teaspoon — of Himalayan salt to my egg salad. I simply cannot eat eggs without salt (in case they are in savory dishes, that is!).
Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight so that the flavors can mingle.
Here’s the “Two-Minute Mile-High English Muffin in a Mug” from my Low Sugar, So Simple book filled with this egg salad:
How I came up with this Egg Salad with Avocado recipe
This recipe was actually born on an extempore basis. Well, I was thinking whether to post a chicken or egg recipe this week. I seemed to have the eternal question of chicken and egg — which one came first. Only this time, I was wondering whether I should first post a recipe with chicken, or first a recipe with eggs.
I concluded that a recipe with eggs would be more appropriate now, as eggs naturally belong to Easter. An easy chicken recipe could follow next week.
But what kind of an egg recipe would be best? I wanted to have something really easy, as the last week’s keto pavlova recipe was quite time-consuming, and also the post itself had over 3,000 words. So, it had to be something light after last week’s massive post. On the other hand: always when I decide to write a short post, I’ll end up with at least a couple of thousands of words. So, it’s better NOT to promise to write short posts because I don’t seem to be capable of writing short posts anymore! I just simply love writing. Or instead, it feels that the text just appears to the screen — and I cannot help it!
But back to the recipe development. I was pondering over deviled egg recipes and egg salad recipes. Here in Finland, we use lots of egg butter — that basically contains just eggs and butter. Some people add cottage cheese, too, but if you ask from me, cottage cheese doesn’t belong to a genuine egg butter. Carb consumers eat egg butter with Karelian pasties that are super-common here in Finland. You get them basically from every store. As I’m a ketoer, I eat my egg butter naturally with keto bread. Or simply wrapped into a slice of cheese.
However, this time, I didn’t want to make another version of egg butter. I also decided to drop the idea of deviled eggs — as they are served more commonly in the holiday season — and proceed with my egg salad idea because egg salad is so versatile. You can use it the whole year round, for example, as filling in your keto sandwiches.
For some reason, I was thinking of green colors for spring. I wanted to make my egg salad green. And what would be the best keto ingredient that provides that green color? — You guessed it: it’s avocado! So, my egg salad was definitely going to contain some avocado. It would also create a creamy texture and bind the eggs in an excellent way, I hoped.
Egg salad often contains mayonnaise, but for this version, I wanted to use something lighter, and perhaps tangier as avocado is such a heavy yet mild ingredient. I immediately knew that thick, Greek yogurt would be just the ingredient I was after. For a second, I was thinking of sour cream, but the Greek yogurt, with its characteristic tang, felt like a much more suitable option here.
So, now I had eggs, avocado, and yogurt. There was still room for two more ingredients. As those three ingredients — eggs, avocado, and yogurt — taste somewhat plain, I wanted the rest two ingredients to be seasonings. Avocado cries for spices, anyway. I always add lemon or lime juice and garlic almost to any savory dish that contains avocado. This time, yogurt was providing all the sharpness and tartness, so I thought the egg salad doesn’t need any citrus juice — but I thought garlic would be a must-have ingredient. It would accompany the ingredients perfectly and lend a piquant taste.
Now, there was still room for yet one ingredient. I eyeballed my spice cabinet, pondering which spices and seasonings would go well with my green egg salad. I chose a few jars, and as I had some fresh herbs as well, I created a collection of those to try out with my egg salad.
But first, I needed to prepare the plain egg salad with which I could test my seasonings. After some calculations, I took 6 hard-boiled eggs, 1 large ripe avocado, 2 garlic cloves, and 1/4 cup (60 ml) thick, full-fat Greek yogurt (yes, genuine Greek yogurt made in Greece!).
I mashed the eggs with a fork. In another bowl, I mashed the avocado. I added the yogurt to the mashed avocado — only to notice that 1/4 cup (60 ml) yogurt was far too little. I doubled the amount, and now it looked great.
I combined the avocado and yogurt mixture with the mashed eggs and added still two crushed garlic cloves. After proper mixing, my basic green egg salad was ready to be spiced up — with a seasoning I was about to choose from the ones I’ve decided to test.
Next, I took tiny batches of the egg salad and mixed those with my chosen seasonings. This is how my tray looked with those test batches:
Now, it was time to do some serious taste testing! And so I did. Here are the ratings (with the familiar scale: ***** = incredible; * = inedible):
- Fresh lemon peel ***½ (provided plenty of flavor and great for springtime, but I considered the taste too much like cheesecake — not a good thing for a savory egg salad!)
- Dijon mustard **** (this was basic but really good. It’s important to use strong enough mustard to get enough flavor)
- Cajun seasoning ***½ (it was good but somehow didn’t lend enough flavor. At least you have to add plenty to get something out of it!)
- Curry powder ***- (the curry powder provided plenty of flavor, but somehow the flavor didn’t suit the egg salad)
- Oregano (dried, as I didn’t have any fresh) **½ (totally peculiar taste. Very surprising as oregano is a great match with so many dishes. Might work better with fresh oregano)
- Thyme (fresh) ****½ (super-tasty and mouth-watering! Period!)
- Basil (fresh) ****+ (really tasty — but not as tasty as thyme. I think.)
- Sriracha **½ (contrary to my expectations, Sriracha just somehow didn’t taste good with this egg salad. Eggs and sriracha are often a great combo, though)
- Lime juice ***+ (it was basic, and it was good, but somehow just too lame)
- Mint (fresh) ** (super-weird and mint absolutely didn’t match the other flavors)
As you can see, nothing was inedible — though there were some questionable and a bit bizarre flavors. But let’s declare the winner (here some drum roll)…
Ta-dah! Fresh thyme was the absolute winner — with fresh basil and mustard as great runner-ups. I also let my husband taste the test batches, and indeed, he came up with the same conclusion: fresh thyme was the best seasoning for this egg salad — and the next best ones admittedly were fresh basil and mustard.
As the fresh thyme was the absolute winner, the final recipe had born.
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
|Per 1/4 cup (60 ml)
How to vary the recipe
If you would like to make the egg salad more traditional — and dairy-free — you can use mayonnaise instead of yogurt. Feel free to add a dash of raw apple cider vinegar to balance out the greasiness of the avocado and to give the egg salad even more tang. Or, replace the yogurt with sour cream, especially in case you cannot find proper thick Greek (or Turkish) full-fat yogurt.
For even more satisfying version, mix some cooked shrimp with the egg salad right before serving.
If you are up to even more flavor, add 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped pitted black Kalamata olives to the egg salad.
Why not make your own taste tests? Grab some seasonings from your pantry and try out which one you prefer with this egg salad!
This week has been super-hectic. I was supposed to take the final photos for my upcoming keto book. Still, I had some urgent linguistic projects that just kept coming in. I finished one time-consuming task for the Ukrainian language — and before I had even finished it, I got a request to check some Cantonese characters. And before I even had time to take a look at those, I got a request to confirm Swedish and Danish phoneme inventories and do some mappings from one transcription system to another. On the other hand, I cannot complain: many people don’t have enough work to do currently, and many entrepreneurs are suffering from the current situation. I’m happy to have work — but of course, too much is too much, and I have to admit I was feeling pretty stressed with all the work pouring in. So, for Easter, I decided to forget all that linguistic stuff and enjoy cooking and being with my family.
Anyway, I managed to take these smoothie photos for my book during the hectic week:
And also these photos of compound butters:
Our Ketokamu brand is getting more and more ready, as well as the products. Of course, the current situation is affecting our product testing and developing: for example, we cannot visit the producers. However, we have had lots of online meetings. We also have graphic designers who are working on our brand image, packages, and the logo.
Some time ago, there was supposed to be a Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. Our CEO Olli went there with some other Finnish guys — just to notice the expo was canceled due to this pandemic. However, the guys utilized the time and did some fruitful networking. They also tested some keto products. I also got my share, as Olli sent me this parcel full or fascinating keto products from USA and Canada:
Anyway, now it’s time to celebrate Easter, and for that, I always make sugar-free chocolate eggs for my son for egg hunting:
And if you remember my last week’s recipe for Keto Lemon Curd Pavlova, I will make a chocolaty version — as my family loves chocolate. Unfortunately, the photo of that pavlova didn’t make it to this week’s blog post, but hopefully next week’s!
I also made keto paskha, but this time I added some lemon peel and orange peel for more flavor.
This is just a photo of a beautiful rose I got from my husband this week. He just loves to give me roses every now and then — and I totally love him for that!
Happy Easter for all who are celebrating!
Hope you all have stayed safe and healthy.