A recent trip to the local farmers market left me with a hankering for simple stuffed eggs made with the freshest eggs, homemade mayonnaise and a sprinkling of chopped, just-picked herbs like chives, tarragon and Italian parsley. Their clean eggy flavor and luxuriously creamy texture is unlike traditional “deviled eggs” made with supermarket eggs, bottled mayonnaise and spices that are often overwhelming.
Have you ever eaten a farm-fresh egg? If not, you’re in for a treat as they are very different from their supermarket counterparts. Crack one open and you’ll see that the yolks are much brighter and deeper in color. They range from brilliant yellow to orange and sometimes red—all determined by what the hens eat. The yolks are round, surrounded by cloudy whites that fit tightly in the shell with minimum air—a sign of freshness. And the flavor is extraordinary; clean, rich and perfectly wholesome. In other words, just what you’d expect from happy chickens that feast on bugs, an occasional snail and good things from the earth.
Unlike mass-produced eggs, farm eggs are typically collected daily and sold very quickly. Supermarket eggs are harvested from hens pumped up with antibiotics and crammed in cages at large production facilities. They are often held in cold storage for weeks before shipping out to the markets for sale. (The U.S. Department of Agriculture allows a full 30 days between when grocery eggs are packed and their last date of sale.) Mass-produced eggs do not have the same taste as farm eggs; their yolks are flatter and the whites are runny and translucent.
Back in the kitchen, it’s time to hard-cook my eggs so that they are creamy and not overdone with evil green halos around their yolks. It’s easy! Just place the eggs in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, cover with a tight-fitting lid and let sit for 11–12 minutes. Drain the eggs and plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process. Peel them when cooled.
Stuffing the eggs is quick and easy—and the mayonnaise can be made in under a minute.
18 medium farm eggs, hard-cooked, peeled and halved
5–6 tablespoons homemade mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
~ chopped fresh herbs such as Italian parsley, tarragon, or chervil (optional)
1. Scoop the yolks from the halved eggs and place the yolks in a food processor or electric mixer.
2. Add 5–6 tablespoons of homemade mayonnaise and the salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
3. Spoon or pipe the filling in to the halved eggs.
4. Sprinkle with herbs, if desired.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.