Deviled eggs have to have pickles. It’s a rule. I have had eggs that folks called deviled that were pickle-less. They made me sad. The pickles are key. My grandmother “put up”, canning as I would call it. There were jars stocked up high in the pantry and it’s how garden tomatoes could be had year-round and still taste fresh-picked. She canned a variety of pickles too and though I loved them all I never considered learning to can until I went to Campbell, the little school in the big woods. There was absolutely nothing to do there. There were however farms aplenty and I became a regular at a local strawberry stand. I bought flats of berries a few times a week and was able to ease my boredom and avoid studying Property by canning instead. No fruit could escape me. As much as I love canning though I didn’t can at all last year because I just couldn’t bear the heat in my tiny kitchen. Have you ever stirred a pot of boiling, sputtering peaches in a NC summer? Grandma you were one tough cookie. And, truth be told, I still can’t can a proper pickle. Enter my pickling and preserving savior, April McGregor. She is the farmer’s daughter behind the pickle and preserves brand of the same name. She came by her skills honest. She grew up on a sweet potato farm and has just published a cookbook devoted to sweet potatoes. She is adept in transforming sweet potatoes into numerous amazing dishes (sweet potato hummus) and she creates equally interesting pickles and preserves. You can find her products at many Triangle Farmer’s Markets. I picked mine up at the Durham Farmer’s Market. April’s pickles and preserves are anything but ordinary. I picked up Thai Basil Green Beans, Horseradish Rutabagas and Beets, Fuyu Persimmon Chutney and Green Tomato Relish. The flavor combinations are always delicious and unique. I told her I was making a Southern sampler to take to a party and she suggested a twist on my usual deviled eggs by swapping out sweet pickle relish with tangy green tomato relish. I also needed a pickle to round out the tray and her Thai Basil Green Beans were perfect! Make these deviled eggs and my easy pimento cheese and you have a great appetizer plate for your next party or just to enjoy at home with some wine on the porch. Enjoy!
Green Tomato Relish Deviled Eggs
6 hardboiled eggs
2 forkfuls of green tomato relish or sweet pickle relish. You want to create a tower. Use a fork so you don’t get the liquid. It’s about 1-1/2 Tbs. I’m wedded to the fork method because, well, it’s how Grandma did it so that’s good enough for me.
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise.
2. Put the yolks and all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Taste the filling and adjust seasonings. If the filling seems dry add a smidge more mayo. I usually need to add more vinegar as I like them tangy and a bit more relish because I love the crunch. Deviled eggs vary wildly so personalizing them isn’t a problem. Whatever you do though please use pickles.
3. Refill eggs. Go rustic and just use a teaspoon or if you’re fancy pipe the filling. Chill and serve.