Egg mayonnaise seems to have disappeared off the planet. In the Sixties and Seventies, it was a lazily prepared common starter on the hors d'oeuvre trolleys – along with pâté and grapefruit. Maybe it's time to give it a bit of a revival; use duck eggs with crisp salad leaves, or a mixture of rocket and watercress, instead of that limp stuff that was available back then. You could also use a mixture of duck and quail eggs if you wanted to add a bit of variety.
4 duck eggs
A mixture of small peppery salad leaves, such as rocket, watercress, land cress, nasturtium leaves, etc, washed and dried2 spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
A good pinch of cayenne pepper
For the herb mayonnaise
1 egg yolk at room temperature
1tsp white wine vinegar
1/2tsp English mustard
1tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground white pepper
50ml olive oil mixed with 100ml vegetable oil
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
1tsp chopped tarragon leaves
1tsp chopped chervil
1tsp chopped chives
First make the mayonnaise: put the egg yolk, vinegar, mustards and salt and pepper into a stainless steel or glass bowl on a damp cloth to stop it slipping. Mix well with a whisk, then gradually trickle the oils into the bowl, whisking it continuously. If the mayonnaise is getting too thick, add a few drops of water and continue whisking the oil. When the oil is incorporated, taste, re-season if necessary and add a little lemon juice. Stir the herbs into the mayonnaise.
Hard-boil the eggs by carefully lowering them into a saucepan of simmering water and cook for 6-7 minutes, then refresh in cold water. Carefully peel the eggs and rinse under the cold tap. Transport the eggs, salad, spring onions and mayonnaise separately in containers, then assemble by arranging the salad and spring onions on a serving dish. Halve the eggs and arrange on top, then spoon over the mayonnaise and dust lightly with the cayenne pepper.