A touch of lemon zest, the pesto, and the toasted pine nuts add brightness and texture to these delicious deviled eggs. No fancy piping required, though a tiny basil leaf and a couple pine nuts make a nice garnish. Wait to garnish until just before serving. This recipe originally appeared in Fresh From The Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories (Taunton Press, 2014) by Susie Middleton.

Makes 12 deviled eggs

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs (see directions below), peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Spinach, Basil & Toasted Pine Nut Pesto, drained of excess olive oil, or store-bought pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tiny fresh basil leaves, for garnish
  • 12 whole toasted pine nuts, for garnish

1. Gently scoop or squeeze out the yolk from each egg half. Arrange the whites on a plate.

2. In a small bowl, mash together the yolks, mayonnaise, pesto, lemon juice, lemon zest, a pinch of salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper until you get a smooth, pale-green filling. (I use a small silicone spatula.)

3. Using a small spoon or mini spatula, spoon or dollop the mixture evenly back into the egg white halves. (I like to let the mixture sort of fall off the spoon, but do whatever works for you!)

4. Garnish each half with a basil leaf and a pine nut.


How to Hard-Cook Eggs

To cook eggs for salads or to use as deviled eggs, put them in a saucepan wide enough to hold them in one layer and cover them cold water (that comes up an inch over the eggs). Bring the water to a slow boil over medium-high heat and once the water is boiling, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan and steep the eggs for 12 minutes. Carefully drain off the hot water and run cold water over the eggs until they are cool to the touch. Refrigerate until completely chilled before peeling. Use an old-fashioned egg slicer or a hollow-edged Santoku-style knife (run under hot water) to slice.