It is not hard to get stuck in a rut when it comes to weekday lunches. At my office there is this one gentlemen who, since he started 6 months ago, has eaten the same thing everyday – a big bowl of spaghetti from home. While I’m sure its nice to know exactly what you are eating everyday and not have to add menu planning to an already difficult morning routine, I don’t know that I could last one week on such a boring diet. I get around the potential for boredom by freezing a lot of individual leftover portions, but sometimes those run out and I need something fresh and new to pack in my lunch bag. So I was pretty excited several weeks ago when several leftover Easter eggs and a vague memory of a French dish I’d once heard of inspired me to create a rich, tasty spin on an egg salad sandwich. The recipe was perfect for 2-3 sandwiches, just the right amount to make things interesting and but not so many I was risking falling back into a rut.
I had heard once, quite some time ago, about a French dish involving leeks, hard boiled eggs, and vinaigrette called, unsurprisingly, leeks vinaigrette. The traditional recipe calls for several boiled leeks topped with a simple vinaigrette and chopped eggs, but with just one leek in the fridge that recipe wasn’t going to work. Being someone who loves egg sandwiches in whatever their form – egg salad sandwiches, scrambled eggs on toast, even the occasional fried egg on a burger – I decided to make my own spin on leeks vinaigrette between two slices of bread.
The sandwich is wonderful in its simplicity with just 4 ingredients: bread, eggs, marinated leeks, and mayonaise. What takes it up a notch is the complexity of the herbed mayo with the tanginess of the leeks. It is in these two flavorful sub-components that all of the ingredients find their home. Below are recipes for both the leeks and the mayo and a simple explanation on how I combined it all in the sandwich.
Leeks Vinaigrette Sandwich
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
2 slices whole grain bread
1 large leek
½ cup champagne vinegar
¹⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon horseradish grain mustard
salt & pepper
2 tablespoons mayo
1 finely diced clove of garlic
3 teaspoons finely copped chives
1) Begin by preparing your leeks, as you want to let them marinate for about a day before using. Thinly slice the white and pale green parts of 1 leek. Separate the leek rings and rinse well. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and add sliced leek to the bowl. Coat well, cover, and place in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
2) At the same time you prepare the leeks, mix together the mayo, garlic, and chives so the flavors have time to marry.
3) To assemble the sandwich: Spread a thin layer of mayo on the inside of each slice of bread. Spread about a quarter cup of well drained leeks over one slice of bread. Layer sliced hard boiled egg over the leeks, top with second bread slice and enjoy.