It is, I suppose, a “good news, bad news” thing. Good news: we are in Vail for a week of skiing.
Bad news: after four days of glorious turns at one of the greatest ski areas on the planet, I reinjured my left knee. Good news: Nancy is tearing it up on the slopes the morning after a major snow dump. Bad news: I am stuck at the Condo for the duration.
Comfort foods were made for – or, perhaps, defined by – times like this. We are all familiar with comfort foods: slow braised dishes for cold winter days or, perhaps, the foods of our childhood for when we are feeling down. Abe’s Eggs certainly falls in that later category for my sister and me. Named for my great uncle, Abraham Dor – one of Israel’s first State Engineers and, without a doubt, the wisest man I ever knew (or likely ever will) – it is a dish of Abe’s childhood in Egypt. It is, likely, not a stretch to speculate that it was a dish made by Abe’s mother for him; a comfort food for Abe as it is for us.
It is a dish my mother made for me as a child when I had to stay home from school sick and it is one I made for myself in the days when I started my solo law practice out of our extra bedroom. It is, in short, a dish for when one feels hard done by. And with Nancy gliding on a foot and a half of new Colorado powder in the Back Bowls and me icing my knee on the Condo sofa, I definitely feel hard done by.
Of course, one of the problems with a dish that has been passed down from generation to generation, transplanted across three continents (from Egypt to Europe to the United States) and prepared numerous times by multiple members of our family is that the original authenticity of the dish – as it was prepared by Abe’s mother, Hannah – is likely lost. I have no doubt that the version I made today is different than Hannah’s. The essence of the dish has always been, for me, the combination of the garbanzo beans and hard boiled eggs with herbs and a vinaigrette. For this version I added spinach in order to riff on the classic Middle Eastern combination of chickpeas and spinach.
The bad news: I’m still cooped up in the Condo. The good news: I just ate Abe’s Eggs.
For the Salad:
- Half of 1 bunch Spinach
- 3 hard boiled eggs
- 1 can Garbanzo Beans
- Several sprigs of fresh Thyme
- Several sprigs of fresh Oregano
For the Dressing:
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ cup, extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- Sweet Paprika
- Cook the Spinach. Carefully wash and de-stem the spinach. Blanch the spinach in boiling water for just long enough for the spinach to lose its texture; about half a minute. Remove the spinach from the water, shock in ice water and drain the spinach.
- Prepare the Eggs. Shell and dice the hard boiled eggs.
- Prepare the Dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the Dish. Chop the spinach and de-stem the herbs. Combine all of the salad ingredients. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to mix. Season with salt, pepper and paprika.