I never realized that I would be a fan of the big salads—you know—egg salad, chicken salad, potato salad. I'm not sold on potato salad, but with the others, the right mixture feels just a bit fancier than a regular sandwich. Perfect lunch fare, if you ask me. You don't need to serve this on bread; I really enjoy it with these homemade crackers for a little bit of crunch. It packs well, and can be prepared a day or so in advance. I make a batch of the fennel an hour or so before lunch and eat it the over next few days with crackers, cheese, or this egg salad. The flavor becomes even more complex (and tastier) overnight, so I'd recommend making it in advance if you're able to do so.

Egg Salad

Makes one serving. Duplicate quantities to serve a larger number of people.

2 eggs, hard boiled*

a small handful of fresh parsley, chopped

2-3 T plain yogurt (however much you need for the salad to come together)

1 tsp mayo 

dash of sage

dash of paprika

a few walnuts, chopped

salt + pepper

optional: a splash of fresh lemon juice

Prepare and combine all ingredients in a bowl and eat right away (or save for lunch the next day).

Quick-Pickled Fennel

Makes about 2 cups with a medium-sized fennel bulb. Suitable for topping egg salad, other sandwiches, or wherever else you want to add a little tangy crunch.

A bulb of fennel

2 T olive oil

salt + pepper

juice of one lime

Wash a bulb of fennel and remove the greens. Slice into thin slices (similar to how you slice an onion). Place in a bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir. Allow to sit for at least an hour, or overnight.

*No-fail way to hard boil eggs 

Sans the off-putting green yolks

Prepare an ice bath (just ice cubes + cold water in a bowl). Place your preferred number of uncooked eggs in a saucepan, and fill with water until the eggs are just covered.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, noting the moment the water starts to boil. Setting a timer, allow the water to boil for one minute, then immediately remove the eggs and place in the ice bath until cool. That's it!