Why do eggs and fish go so well together? There’s something counter-intuitive about it. Eggs are from flighted creatures, fish are finned. Sky, sea. Air, water. You get the gist. But they do work together. Magically.
When I was a young, quite gauche student, inhabiting the grand metropolis of London on my own for the first time, I made a friend called Laurel. Laurel was a few years older than me. She had a swarthy Spanish boyfriend (who turned out to be a swine – but that’s another story) and what I considered to be a very grown up studio flat in Pimlico, certainly by contrast with the room I was renting from a lovely Aberdonian lady with a nine year old son, who resented the heck out of me for ‘stealing’ what had once been his bedroom. I seem to remember that he had a white rat and that it bit me. Hmm.
Anyway, back to the point. Compared with Laurel, I had lived a very sheltered life. Laurel had travelled. She had spent time in Europe. She was fluent in Spanish, wore lovely, vibrant clothes and had wonderful curly Titian hair. I was totally in awe of her. On one occasion she invited me over for lunch and told me she was preparing ‘Salade Niçoise’. I had no idea what it was. (Sheltered, remember.) I tried not to look too clueless and made approving noises. When she produced a green salad with a pile of beige coloured mush in the middle, I had to ask.
Tuna and egg. Mashed up. Oh, the relief! I have always liked tuna and I love eggs. I gave it a try. It was a revelation, and served with a fresh crusty baguette it was absolute Heaven. Whenever I see tuna and egg together or, indeed, a ‘Salade Niçoise’ on the menu, I think of Laurel. I haven’t seen her since graduation. It was a long time ago. When I make these tuna deviled eggs, it takes me back to London and back in time. Funny how food can do that…
- 6 eggs
- 1 small tin of tuna
- 2 spring onions chopped
- 2 teaspoons of mayonnaise
- Sliced cucumber (optional)
- Fennel greens or dill to garnish (optional)
- Boil the eggs for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Cover the pan and allow to sit for 15 minutes. (This helps prevent overcooking and the grey ring that can form around the yolk.)
- Drain and refill the pan with cold water.
- Once the eggs are cold, peel off their shells.
- Rinse the eggs and pat them dry.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each egg in half.
- Using a teaspoon, remove the yolks and place them in a bowl.
- Drain the tin of tuna, then add the contents to the bowl with the egg yolks.
- Add the chopped spring onions.
- Add the mayonnaise.
- Mix together well.
- Spoon carefully into the scooped out eggs.
- Serve chilled.