The Recipe: Mo's Egg Salad w/ Sumac & Arugula
Because when the world goes to shit, comfort food is your ally.
We’ve all been there.
A shitty day, an awkward conversation with a partner, a colleague who won’t shut up. Then there’s the guy on the train who won’t give up his seat to a pregnant woman carrying a ton of grocery bags and just continues to look at his phone like a brute. Your kid yelled at the teacher, your parents have decided to spend the entire weekend at your house without giving you a heads-up, and life, it seems, won’t let you be.
You come home, you’re exhausted, and you’re hungry.
Stumbling into the kitchen, you open the fridge and stare into it like a maze, salivating for something both quick and easy. How many times has this been you? Because it’s been me for nearly one week. As much as I love to cook (and we all know I do a lot of it), there are days when I want to cry into a bowl of cereal or eat something so easy that I fall asleep immediately after. And I’m not alone.
This week, I’ve cooked for several close friends who were just not feeling like themselves. I don’t know what’s in the water these days, but it seems everyone is dealing with a secret crisis. On days like these, one needs comfort food, for it is the only thing that will hug you internally.
That’s where my new recipe, Mo’s Egg Salad with sumac and arugula comes in. I call it Mo’s Egg Salad because it’s inspired by the king of the Al Ras spice market in Dubai, and my favorite person to talk about cooking with. He saved some delicious sumac for me on my last trip and I’ve been adding it to select dishes whenever I can. In an egg salad, it’s absolute fire. A friend who needed some comfort came over this week, and I served the salad on toasted bread, drizzled some olive oil on top, and poured her a glass of wine. She ate the egg salad in perfect silence, to which I can only take as approval.
Listen, I’m sure that many of you have been struggling with your woes, coming home and just being dead. Between yoga and therapy, I’ve been encouraging myself to step out of things, work from home, read, and rest. I read one book a month and am currently knee-deep in Wintering by Katherine May — a book, you guessed it, about resting during difficult times. I’ve also been perusing a few newsletters and particularly enjoy Are We Europe, a hub full of stories from the continent. Living and writing from Europe is a unique experience and I find comfort in the shared stories of others — if you like my newsletter, I know you’ll find some gems there too.
So my friends, do me a favor whenever you have a minute. Put on a hoodie, make yourself this egg salad, sit on the couch and enjoy some quiet time alone. Food does do the body well, and when it’s an easy recipe that you can eat over and over again — the world can wait.
As always, make adjustments where desired, tag your photos using the hashtag #cookingwithjoaninItaly and I’ll happily reshare them!
4 boiled eggs
4 slices of bread, edges trimmed
1 tablespoon of chopped chives
4 radishes thinly sliced
1 medium bowl of arugula
3 tablespoons of Mayo
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of sumac
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Chop boiled eggs into small chunks and place them in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Chop half of the arugula, add it to the eggs.
Step 2: Add the radish, chives, lemon juice, sumac, and salt, and pepper to taste. The important thing is to constantly taste to acquire the desired level of salt/pepper. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. This is a dish that can be made way ahead of time.
Step 3: Place bread in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake in a preheated oven at 176 celsius or 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Step 4: Remove bread from the oven and let cool for about 3 minutes. Place mini bunches of the leftover arugula (unchopped) on each slice. Next, spoon egg salad mixture on top, and lightly drizzle olive oil all over. Enjoy with a glass of white wine (a chardonnay would do, or seltzer water).