Devilled Egg Mayonnaise with Wild Cress
A classic English teatime treat made extra special – and with a wild twist. Creamy egg mayonnaise is spiked with horseradish and capers (use elderberry capers if you have them), and the traditional topping of snipped cress is replaced by nutty, mustardy hairy bittercress leaves. These have a more pronounced flavour than commercially grown cress and make the perfect complement to the rich eggs.
You’ll find hairy bittercress growing all over the place, and for most of the year. An uprooted plant will do very well in a saucer of water on a windowsill. Pick off the flowers as they emerge and harvest the outer leaves first, and the plant will continue to grow quite happily.
Use a good shop-bought mayonnaise or follow our recipe (leaving out the wild garlic). Serve this devilishly good egg salad in sandwiches (open ones, if you want to appreciate the prettiness of the cress) as part of a traditional high tea, or in jacket potatoes – always topped generously with bittercress.
- 4 medium eggs
- 1½ tablespoons good-quality mayonnaise
- ½ to 1 teaspoon finely grated horseradish (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons elderberry capers or regular capers, drained and rinsed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Sweet paprika, for sprinkling
- A good handful of hairy bittercress leaves, rinsed and dried
- Put the eggs in a small pan and cover with cold water. Set over medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for exactly 8 minutes, then put the pan in the sink and run cold water into it. As soon as the eggs are cool enough to handle, crack the shells (this allows steam to escape and prevents a dark ring forming around the yolks). Peel the eggs under cold running water, then dry them with kitchen paper and leave to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, half the horseradish, and the capers. Chop the cooled eggs into small pieces and stir into the mayonnaise mixture. Taste for seasoning and whether you’d like to add more horseradish.
- Serve the egg mayonnaise sprinkled with a little sweet paprika, and topped with generous amounts of hairy bittercress leaves.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK