What’s the secret to a great egg salad? According to renowned tastemaker Dan Levy, it’s all about the technique.
“Once the eggs are boiled and cooled, you grate them with like a standard cheese grater. This is what my dad told me to do,” he said in an Instagram tutorial. “He was not, however, available when I asked him how long to cook the eggs, and they’re slightly undercooked. So thanks, Dad.”
Dan’s newest project is a brunch-themed cooking competition on HBO Max called The Big Brunch, which is about – you guessed it – brunch. His beloved character David Rose may not be known for his prowess in the kitchen, but Dan’s been known to tie on an apron himself from time to time, like he did to show his Instagram followers how to make this classic Levy family egg salad recipe.
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There are only four things on the ingredient list (hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, bread base) and much room for interpretation. If you’re looking for a more authoritative tutorial, his dad Eugene Levy walked viewers though his process on the Kelly Clarkson Show in 2020. He said that the mayo added should resemble “your first scoop of ice cream,” while Dan’s tastes run less creamy. The grating, though, is a hard-and-fast rule for making authentic Levy egg salad.
Traditional egg salad recipes usually use roughly chopped hard-boiled eggs, often mashed up a bit with a fork or similar tool. Like any classic recipe, there are endless twists on the basic formula. Mustard and relish are common ones, but popular recipes also use everything from rice vinegar to anchovies. The Levy recipe has a short ingredient list, but refined technique: Eugene told Kelly Clarkson that “The key thing to egg salad is the proportion of yolk to egg white.” Grating the eggs, he said, prevents your egg salad from having chunks of egg white which are “like lima beans.”
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Variety reports that The Big Brunch is set to hit HBO Max later this year. The show’s logline describes it as an opportunity for chefs to share their visions and dreams, “All while finding innovative and personal ways to redefine what it means to dine between 11am and 3pm.”
This isn’t Dan’s first time making calls on the culinary chopping block. In case you missed him on the Great Canadian Baking Show in 2018, Dan has a refined palate and magnanimous approach to competition. “The tension comes between the baker and the bake. Not one another,” he said at the start of hosting. “‘Will your cake turn out well?’ That’s the competition. And it’s riveting.”
If his egg salad Instagram post was any indication, Dan will be a firm but gracious food judge across the board. He followed up his recipe with a response to the many tips and ingredient ideas streaming in:
“I appreciate those suggestions. Some of them are absolutely nuts. I will not be changing my recipe, but I see you. And I hear you. And I respect you.”
Levy-Style Egg Salad
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Salt and pepper
- Bagel or bread
- Grate hard boiled eggs into a mixing bowl
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste
- Scoop in mayonnaise, to taste
- Spread on a bagel or bread, open-faced