Salads with Hard-boiled Eggs

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The hard-boiled egg is not simply another salad ingredient that may or may not find its place depending on the demands of décor or supplementary flavor. Its function, residing largely in the yolk, is, like that of salt, fundamental. It is a dulcifying agent, suavely veiling the bitterness or acerbity native to numerous leafy vegetables or bitter salads. With a vinaigrette or, more rarely, with cream and lemon, alone or in combination, chicory, endive, escarole, dandelion, parboiled spinach (rinsed in cold water, squeezed, and coarsely chopped), lambs’ lettuce, or cress expands in its presence, mollified or flattered by the union. A salad for which I have a particular affection is that of rocket and hard-boiled eggs sauced with a vinaigrette. A breath of garlic may be welcome and the fantasy of scattered calendula petals is amusing. The eggs may be halved, quartered, sliced, chopped or, as in the following recipe, incorporated into the sauce: