Middle Eastern Tahini Deviled Eggs
Raise your hand if you are READY FOR SUMMER VACATION. *lots of girls-with-raised-hands emojis*
In the eight (ack!) weeks since we last spoke over crepes, a lot has happened. I played a master’s recital, made my first ever wedding cake for my best friend’s wedding, performed some more, graduated with a master’s degree (with a former New York Yankee)… Oh. And another thing:
I GOT INTO JUILLIARD!!!!
This is probably not real life. Actually, I’m positive it’s not. I’m definitely just having the deepest and most wonderful nap dream ever. Is somebody gonna wake me up before I pee? No? SO IT IS REAL?! 😀
In all seriousness though, I’m ecstatic to be continuing my education in their historical performance program. Who wouldn’t be?! I get to play baroque violin all day every day, play with an amazing group, and learn from some of early music’s most revered artists. This has been a dream of mine ever since I began playing baroque violin, and it’s actually coming true.
….I am also a leeeetle bit wiped out though. #realtalk. This was a warm (not quite hot) mess of a busy year that turned out to be SO BEYOND worth the struggle. Preparing an audition on baroque violin while still juggling grad student life on modern violin nearly made me crazy, and I questioned my sanity every 7 minutes, basically. One thing I learned in the process, though, is that when things get stressful, you just need to power through one day, one task, and one minute at a time. Bite-sized goals on small plates… Do you see where I’m going yet?
OK, so I may have just gotten gratuitously philosophical with this months “Small Plates for Sunny Days” theme over at the Recipe Redux. No shame. But in a delicious tapas meal, there’s something about eating one small bite at a time that is just SO satisfying. I seriously wish every meal were served up small-plates style. You end up eating more and getting a ton of variety in one meal, yet it just feels more elegant and luxurious to fill up on little bites. Seriously, if it were socially acceptable for me to only order appetizers at any restaurant ever, I would.
Since we’re heading into summer, these small bites are inspired by some of my favorite warm weather memories of recent years – last year’s trip to Israel. One of my favorite meals there was sabich (fried or roasted eggplant, tahini, hard boiled egg, lemon, spicy zhoug, Israeli salad, etc.) all wrapped up in a warm, luscious pita. Honestly, I’d probably eat a shoe if you put it in a pita. But let’s move on.
Deviled eggs are the perfect bite sized treat to serve to your guests at a summer event. They are a classic party food, but there are so many ways to jazz them up. So I figured, why not give them a little middle eastern twist and make them into a bite-sized version of one of my fave sandwiches? The filling is simply egg yolks blended with tahini and a little bit of date honey and lemon (no mayo!!), with a bit of minced cucumber and hot pepper thrown in. Garnish your eggies with a drizzle of lemony paprika yogurt, chopped tomato, minced red onion, and cilantro, and I guarantee you will never want regular deviled eggs again. So fresh, so simple, so easy, and so healthy!
- 10 extra large eggs
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 cup tahini
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. silan (date syrup) or honey
- 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. water
- 1/2 cup (about 1/2 large) hothouse cucumber, seeded, roughly peeled, and minced
- 1/2-3/4 small serrano pepper, seeded and minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup 2% greek yogurt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 small red onion, finely minced
- handful grape tomatoes, chopped
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- Cover eggs with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add baking soda to water, and cook about 12-15 minutes.
- Remove eggs from boiling water and immediately place into a bowl of cold water with ice.
- Peel eggs, being cautious not to nick the egg whites.
- Halve eggs, scoop out egg yolks, and place yolks into a food processor (or, if you don't have a food processor, mash yolks thoroughly with a fork). Refrigerate the whites for later.
- Blend yolks with date syrup/honey, water, and tahini until smooth. Fold in minced cucumber and serrano pepper and season to taste.
- Let filling cool in fridge for an hour-overnight. In the meantime, prepare toppings.
- Whisk together yogurt, lemon juice, and paprika. Set aside.
- Once eggs and mixture are cooled, use a piping bag (or spoon) to carefully fill each egg white with a generous dollop of yolk mixture.
- Drizzle with yogurt mixture, and sprinkle generously with remaining toppings.