I never knew I could learn so much from making hundreds of tea sandwiches everyday. Yes. Hundreds. Everyday. Remember when your hand would hurt in school from writing so much so hard in those Blue Book? I got blisters on my hand from cutting these squares, rectangles and triangles so much. The egg salad tea sandwiches were a popular staple on the menu, but we mixed up others to reflect the seasons.
There are a lot of little tricks to ensuring the egg salad tea sandwiches come out perfectly. I will try to recount everything but please ask questions because after three kids and a super needy dog, I forget things. Let’s start with the egg salad!
Everyone has their own way of hard boilings so I’m not going to get into that. So we’re skipping that part. My egg salad is super simple. Ready? Eggs, chives, salt, pepper, mayo, Dijon. Not a fan of cornichons, pickles or onions. I feel like it masks the flavor of the eggs. But there’s plenty of room for creativity here. Make your salad however you want to. But try not to make it very wet. Wet enough so it will hold together but that’s it. For the tea sandwiches, I pulse the eggs in a food processor until they’re light, fluffy and into pretty small pieces. Don’t just let it run because it will get thick pretty quickly and then it’s time to start all over again (unless you’re gong for a pureed egg salad thing).
Gently fold the rest of the ingredients in with the eggs. Try to keep as much air as you can. Taste! Taste! Taste!. Onto the bread. We use to order the loaves of bread sliced horizontally. We could make 12-16 sandwiches as once. But I know that’s not the case here, so we’ll aim to make eight petite squares. Chose a bread that has a uniform shape and that won’t fall apart while cutting.
Lay your egg salad on a piece of bread and top it with the second piece. I love the look of having the height of the salad be around the same as the bread, so each whole sandwich probably took about 1/2 cup egg salad. Once you have your sandwiches made, put them in the freezer! I know it sounds crazy but it will make slicing so much easier. Hold them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
While you’re waiting, you can prep your garnishes and prep your work space for slicing the sandwiches. You’ll need a cutting board, serrated knife, damp paper towel or kitchen towel. Once the sandwiches have hardened a little, remove them from the freezer. You’ll want to trim the edges to create clean squares. I clean my knife with a damp cloth after every slice. Once you’re left with a square, you can choose to cut it into whatever shape you want. I chose four squares because I like each sandwich to have its’ own uniformed look.
Next up is the garnish. In my opinion, the garnish should always reflect the sandwich so we’re keeping it really easy with this one. I cut some chives on a bias and made a quick Dijonnaise. I piped a little Dijonnaise in the center of each sandwich and gently lay a piece of chive against it.
Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
- 8 hard boiled eggs
- Salt and pepper
- 2 TB, fresh chives, chopped, plus additional for garnish
- 1-2 TB, mayonnaise
- 1-2 TB, Dijon mustard
- 4 slices, evenly sliced bread of your choice
- Chop the eggs into a fine dice or pulse with a food processor until the eggs are almost minced.
- Combine the chopped eggs, salt, pepper, chives, mayonnaise and Dijon into a medium bowl and gently fold together. (Start with 1 TB of mayo and Dijon and add more if needed). You want the salad to hold together but not be pasty.
- Lay out your bread on your cutting board and about 1/2 cup of salad to two pieces. Top the sandwiches with the other pieces of bread and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the sandwiches from the freezer and using a serated knife, gently cut the edges of the sandwiches to create squares. It helps to wipe your knife after each cut. Continue to cut the square into your desired shape.
- Mix the remaining mayonnaise and Dijon together in a small bowl. Add Dijonnaise to a small piping bag or ziplock bag. Pipe a small portion into the center of each sandwich and top with sliced fresh chive.
- If you’re not serving immediately, wrap the sandwiches VERY well! They dry out quickly.
What can you PREP AHEAD?
- The egg salad and Dijonnaise can be make 2 days ahead of time.
- Sandwiches should be made the same day as service.