Turn Leftover Hard Boiled Eggs Into Elegant Tea Sandwiches

Hard boiled eggs are delicious for a quick breakfast or a protein-packed snack, and it's always worth preparing more than you need as leftover eggs are so versatile as an ingredient. They can easily be transformed into a more elaborate meal, such as a Cobb or Nicoise salad, or chopped into a gribiche sauce to serve with some sauteed asparagus. But one of the most simple yet satisfying ways to eat hard boiled eggs has to be in a comforting classic egg salad recipe, a trusty favorite for a reason.

Eggs can be elegant, too. To give leftover hard boiled eggs a dainty twist, try using them as a filling for tiny yet tasty tea sandwiches. Tea sandwiches are perfect served alongside cups of tea, scones, and sweet treats for a sophisticated afternoon service. Originally a British tradition first started in 1840 by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, afternoon tea has its own etiquette rules, and still retains a sense of luxurious style and elegance.

However, you don't need to host an afternoon tea party to enjoy these dainty sandwiches. Whether served as fancy finger food, cut into tiny triangles, or as egg-topped crackers, they bring a little bit of joy no matter what time of day it is. And there are lots of different ways to make them, too.

Cut off the crusts for dainty tea sandwiches

For a simple egg salad tea sandwich, make the filling using diced hard boiled eggs, mayo, and your preferred seasonings, and then spread the mixture on slices of fresh, soft bread. For a tasty twist, try switching up the mayo for Greek yogurt and perhaps adding chopped chives for extra bite. White bread is traditional for British egg sandwiches, but you could use wholemeal or wholegrain, too, so long as the slices are fresh, soft, and fluffy.

The key to tea sandwiches is the pretty presentation, so once you've assembled them, be sure to cut off the crusts. The sandwiches can then be sliced lengthwise into fingers, or into four small triangles. Or you could even use a cookie cutter to make fancy shapes. Spreading the bread with a light layer of softened butter or mayonnaise before adding the filling will help prevent the soft bread from becoming soggy.

The egg mixture could also be served on top of buttered fingers of toasted bread for a crunchy take on an open sandwich. Or alternatively, serve slices of hard boiled egg on bite-sized wholegrain crackers for a mix of textures. Spreading the crackers with grainy mustard first will add extra flavor and a touch of heat, and they will look especially attractive scattered with chopped chives.

Add ingredients to the filling for even more savory ideas

If you've got lots of leftover hard boiled eggs, or you just fancy switching things up, it's easy to enhance your filling for a next-level tea sandwich. Add some warming spice to the chopped egg salad mix with a little curry paste and yogurt for a British-style Coronation egg salad sandwich, or try curry powder with mayo and fresh herbs.

Adding grated apple and radish to the egg mayo mixture will give it a fresh, sharp Scandinavian twist, and this style could also be served as an open sandwich. Or, try layering your favorite egg salad recipe with slices of crispy bacon and serving it in toasted buttery brioche that's been cut into fingers.

If you're preparing a batch for a party, it's best not to make the tea sandwiches too far in advance so that they don't go stale or soggy. You can always get ahead of the game by mixing up the hard boiled egg filling and storing it in the fridge, and then assemble the sandwiches whenever you're ready.