In 1975, Eli Zabar, the owner of E.A.T., Eli’s at the Vinegar Factory and numerous restaurants and markets throughout the city, invented what he calls the platonic ideal of an egg salad sandwich. He did it by eliminating half the egg whites. During this period, he was into simplicity, he said, and he wanted to get to the essential “egginess” of egg salad. The recipe remains unchanged more than 40 years later. But what of all the leftover hard-cooked egg whites? E.A.T. sells them as chopped egg white salad in two versions: plain, and dressed with mayonnaise and dill. Waste not, want not. —Elaine Louie
Eli Zabar’s Egg Salad Sandwich
- 8 large eggs
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 4 slices bread
- Put the eggs in a medium pan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. Place pan in the sink under cold running water until the eggs are cool.
- Peel the eggs. Remove the yolks from 4 of them (save the whites for another use). Chop the 4 yolks with the 4 remaining whole eggs.
- In a medium bowl, gently and quickly mix the chopped eggs, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the dill, mix the egg salad once more, and make into sandwiches.