My friend Elena sent me this photo of these marvelously decorated eggs. They reminded me that back in the day when the godchild was still a child and not a young woman in college we would gather to do the ritual of the egg-dying. Loads of hard-cooked eggs were dyed while we chinned and grinned and generally oohed and aahed over our own cleverness in adventurous color combinations.
This differed slightly from my own upbringing in one small way: at home we laboriously blew the eggs innards out into a bowl and decorated the empty shells. Those blown-out egg guts could be breakfast for a week or an omelette party for 20. The belabored hard-cooked ones went into a newer ritual a few days later, the Salade Niçoise.
Now of course this was a special, invitation only Salade Niçoise for one simple reason. The whites of the eggs would naturally take on some of the dye from the decorated eggs. If you weren't in on the decorating it would be kind of disconcerting to be served a salad with eggs that had lime green and purple zebra stripes on them. But it's a salad that when done well is tasty, filling and even recycling?
The basic recipe: (feel free to add or detract and you decide the amounts)
haricot vert, blanched and shocked
sliced heirloom tomatoes (cherry tomatoes can substitute)
boiled red or fingerling potatoes
canned tuna (preferably the Italian kind in oil)
the leftover Easter eggs, peeled and halved
capers in salt
Arrange all on a platter prettily and drizzle with the dressing. If you have an anchovy or caper-phobic person (yes, you Bitsy) blitz it in with the dressing. They'll never know. Serve with nicely warmed bread and crisply chilled wine. Eat, drink and be merry.
Easter, Passover, Nowruz; I would love it if you would share your traditions and recipes that take us into spring.