By Jim Feldman.
Once upon a time in Brooklyn, on Sundays my grandmother would put out a huge and varied antipasto before the main event. This generally had devilled eggs, Italian tuna with a squeeze of lemon, and pimentos on one platter, prosciutto, salami, mortadella and some cheeses, on another platter. No matter how much we ate of the antipasto, there was always room for the risotto (she was from the far north, risotto was opening to a meal, pasta was for the people from the south), roasts, side dishes and desserts. Some times if we were really lucky, instead of the risotto she would serve cottechino, a boiled salami laced with garlic on top of polenta. Some of her other recipes will follow soon as I recreate them.
Devilled eggs all Nonna Flora are an easy and delicious appetizer for any gathering. Although the recipe says this is for eight people, it depends who those eight people are. These have a way of disappearing the minute they hit the table.
My mother Livia dictated this recipe to me recently, and I can attest that it is spot on.
1 dozen eggs
1/2 tablespoon fresh powered mustard
2 tbs of mayonnaise
1 mashed clove of garlic, chopped finely
Salt & pepper, to taste
Hot Pimenton de la Vera or Sweet Pimenton
Piquillo Peppers (optional)
Green Olive Tapenade (optional)
Hard boil a dozen eggs
Cool, peel and cut the eggs in half. Remove all the yellow and put into a bowl. Add half tablespoon of good quality fresh powdered mustard, 2 tbs. of mayonnaise, and one mashed clove of garlic, chopped extremely finely, plus salt and pepper to taste. (Note: instead of chopped garlic, sometimes my grandmother would peel and crush a clove of garlic and rub it on the inside of her wooden bowl before adding the eggs and other ingredients.) Mix well but do not cream.
Fill egg halves, arrange on a platter with lettuce leaves below or whatever crudité you choose. Add a dash of Hot Pimenton de la Vera, a perfect and rich spicy paprika, to the top of each egg. If you prefer less spicy try the Sweet Pimenton, rich in flavor. Top with a small slice of Piquillo Peppers or with a dollop of richly flavorful Green Olive Tapenade.