Minced giardiniera (vegetable pickle) gives an appealing crunch and vinegary kick to classic stuffed eggs. Be sure to follow the instructions for properly cooking and cooling the eggs. This will make peeling much easier. Serve these stuffed eggs slightly chilled, and be sure to set them on a bed of ice, especially if you are serving them outside on a warm day ~ they tend to go pretty quickly, though.
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Classic Giardiniera
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Duke's or Hellman's, not Miracle Whip)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Nonpareil capers (drained), parsley leaves, and small pieces of pimento, roasted red peppers, giardiniera, or anchovy fillets, for garnish
Carefully place the eggs in a saucepan large enough to fit them comfortably. Fill the pan with water to cover by 1 to 2 inches. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil, keeping an eye on it. As soon as the water boils, remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Set a timer for 12 minutes. When the timer dings, carefully drain the water into the sink (I use the lid to keep the eggs from spilling out). Fill the saucepan with cold water, letting the water run over the eggs to cool them. Drain the pan, and gently crack each egg two or three times against the sides of the pan, just enough to splinter the shells a bit. Fill the pan with more cold water. Feel the water after about 30 seconds; if it is warm to the touch, drain and refill with more cold water. Let the eggs sit for 15 minutes. Then carefully peel them; the peel should come off easily.
Cut each egg in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Rinse or wipe the blade after each cut to clean it. Gently pop out the yolks and use the back of a teaspoon to force them through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Set the whites on a serving platter, or an egg plate if you have one. (Some recipes call for slicing of a thin sliver of the bottom of the egg whites to prevent them from rocking; I usually skip this step and arrange the eggs close enough to one another to keep them from jostling.)
Add the chopped giardiniera and mayonnaise to the bowl with the yolks and season with salt and a few grindings of pepper. Fold everything together until thoroughly combined and creamy.
Spoon or pipe the filling into the egg whites and garnish each one as you like. If not serving right away, cover the stuffed eggs with plastic wrap and refrigerate ~ I actually prefer them somewhat chilled. If you are refrigerating them, let them stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.