December 9th, 2013
These Mediterranean Deviled Eggs are a staple at every one of my parties, and will most certainly be served at this year’s holiday soiree! Inspired by my first visit many years ago to Oleana restaurant in Boston, these deviled eggs are a humble homage to Chef Anna Sortun. She served my first fine dining experience of eastern Mediterranean food, and I have never forgotten it—especially her deviled eggs with tuna and black olives.
In all of the years that I’ve been making these Mediterranean Deviled Eggs, I’ve never looked to see if Chef Sortun has published the official Oleana recipe. I’m loath to replicate her version and would much rather eagerly hold out to get the real deal at Oleana. I want Chef Sortun’s food to forever occupy that untouchable place in my memory for first food experiences that changed me.
But I also want good deviled eggs. Which is why I developed this recipes. Again, an homage to, not a replica of, the deviled eggs at Oleana.
I don’t use black olives in my version, but pack them full of chopped cornichon instead. Using tuna is essential, but you must be careful about the kind that you use. I once whipped these up at a friend’s house using flaky light tuna packed in water, which was all that was on hand. Big mistake.
Make sure to use a high quality tuna packed in olive oil. My favorite is Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Tonno in Olive Oil. Fancy Italian olive oil packed tuna works, too, but can be harder to find and more expensive. Bumble Bee is accessible and just as delicious. It is the perfect texture and flavor for these party eggs.
Other than that, these deviled eggs are pretty straight forward. Follow the recipe, adjusting amounts depending on the number of guests attending your party, and taste as you go. Deviled eggs are the kind of recipe that should be tweaked and customized so that they taste just right to you. That’s when they’ll make your guests happiest.
Mediterranean Deviled Eggs
(Can be adapted for kids 6+ mos)*
Makes 1 dozen eggs, 24 bites
1 dozen eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fine chopped cornichon
2 tablespoons creme fraiche (you can substitute sour cream)
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 can tuna packed in olive oil, such as Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Tonno in Olive Oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Hot paprika, for garnish
Parsley or chopped chives, for garnish (optional)
1. Boil eggs using the following method for perfectly boiled eggs. Once cooked, eggs can be peeled immediately or refrigerated with shells on in an airtight container for up to 3 days, depending on how far in advance you’ve cooked them.
2. Cut peeled eggs in half and carefully remove yolks, adding them all to a medium mixing bowl. To the same bowl, add mayo, cornichon, creme fraiche, mustard, tuna, and salt and pepper to taste. Use a folk to mash until very smooth.
3. Wipe egg whites to remove any crumbly pieces of yolk that remain. Fill a pastry bag with yolk mixture and pipe into the cavity of the egg whites. Alternatively, use a small spoon to carefully, neatly fill the center of the egg. Prepare eggs for serving or store in the refrigerator, carefully covered, for up to 24 hours.
4. When ready to serve, sprinkle eggs with paprika and top each one with a parsley leaf or chopped chives. These are best enjoyed at the colder end of room temperature.
*Note: These eggs are a great, soft early finger food for kids 8- to 10-months and up; just cut eggs into age appropriate bite sizes. You can share just the yolk mixture with younger eaters, plain or mixed in with another of their favorite foods, such as avocado, cereal, or quinoa.