Scandinavian Flower Eggs with Sweet-Tart Mustard Dill Sauce

Scandinavian Flower Eggs with Sweet-Tart Mustard Dill Sauce
From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2008). Copyright 2008 by American Public Media.

Serves 4 to 5
15 minutes prep time; 5 minutes assembly

Cook's Note: The potatoes and eggs could be cooked a day ahead and refrigerated. The sauce holds for 3 days in the refrigerator.

Wedges of hard-cooked egg tucked into chopped salad greens mimic tightly clustered chrysanthemum petals - a great presentation.

What no one knows until they dig into the salad is that hidden under the greens are slices of potato. Slathering the platter first with mayonnaise ensures that the salad is flavored from the bottom up as well as the top down.

Given some hard-cooked eggs and boiled potatoes, you can make this fancy-looking dish in a few minutes. Zigzag the mustard sauce over the eggs, and you are done.

Potatoes:
1 pound (7 to 8) small red-skin potatoes

Mustard Dill Sauce:
1 small garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons minced onion
1/4 cup plain distilled vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
3 tablespoons cold-pressed canola or safflower oil
Generous 1/2 cup dark grainy mustard
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill leaves
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Salad:
2 generous tablespoons mayonnaise
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1 small head Bibb lettuce, leaves stacked and sliced into thin strips
8 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into 4 wedges each
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion (Vidalia, Mau, Walla Walla, etc.)

1. In a 6-quart pot, simmer the potatoes in water to cover for 15 minutes, or until they offer a little resistance when pierced with a knife. Drain, and rinse them with cold water to cool. Peel and slice them about 1/4 inch thick.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, make the sauce: In a medium bowl, blend together the garlic, onion, and vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes to mellow. Then whisk in the 2 tablespoons sugar, the oil, the mustard, and 1/3 cup of the dill. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Taste for sweet-sour balance, adding sugar or vinegar as needed. Add more dill if you like.

3. On a large platter, spread the mayonnaise to form a 9- or 10-inch round. Top with the potatoes, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then pile the lettuce on the potatoes. Top with the egg wedges, tucking them into a tight sunburst pattern (like flower petals). Season them with salt and pepper.

4. Before serving, zigzag streaks of the mustard dill sauce over the eggs and greens. Scatter the chopped dill and sweet onion over the eggs, and serve with additional sauce at the table.

LYNNE'S TIPS

Dressing salad from the bottom as well as the top is a trick that works whether you build the salad on a platter or in a bowl.

When you have some leftover cooked salmon, flake it into big chunks and tuck it in with the egg slices. It's a natural with the dill sauce.