Each spring at Coonamessett Farm in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Farmer Ron lets a few chicken eggs hatch to beef up his egg-procuding flock. He keeps the chicks under heat lamps under the hydroponic lettuce banks in the greenhouses up on the hill. I remember being so surprised the first time I saw them milling around near my feet like refugees, happy but somehow aware that this little sawdust heaven could not be their home forever.
Chicks are cute, for sure, but I fall harder for ducklings. Seeing duck eggs in a market always makes me a little sad for the little fuzzy creatures they could have been, little Robert McCloskey characters about whom no children’s author will ever write a story.
In Boston, we lived right near the Boston Common, and I’ll never forget a mother patiently watching her son feed part of his lunch to the bronze ducklings there. “Why isn’t he eating it?” the kid asked over and over again, obviously insulted that duckling #2 (the one who looks like he’s eating) had no interest in his PB&J. “I think he wants to save it for snack,” said the mom. The kid seemed satisfied, and when I walked by again a few minutes later, I was tempted to pick up the little mauled bits of sandwich he’d left behind.
But I buy duck eggs anyway, because they taste so darn good.
This egg salad would make wonderful picnic fare – and if the sandwiches are too big, you can save some for snack.
Recipe for Dilled Duck Egg Salad
Recipe 111 of 365
Rich, farm-fresh duck eggs have a dark, orangey yolk with strong mineral flavor. Use them to make your favorite version of egg salad, or try mine, which uses a blend of sour cream, Dijon mustard, and mayonnaise to achieve optimum creaminess.
TIME: 20 minutes active time
MAKES: 2 big sandwiches, or finger sandwiches for 4 to 6
4 duck eggs (usually rated “super jumbo,” about 3/4 pound total) or 6 large chicken eggs
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 packed tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place the eggs in a small saucepan and fill with water to 1” above the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat, cover the pan, and let the eggs sit exactly 18 minutes. Drain the eggs, cracking the shells in a few places as you do so to allow cold water to rush under the shells and make them easier to peel, and transfer them to a bowl of ice cold water to cool for ten minutes.
Peel and finely chop the eggs, and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients, and serve on toast, salad, or in finger sandwiches.