Lora Hogan > Recipe  > The day I learned how to boil an egg

The day I learned how to boil an egg

I have a confession to make.

Until Saturday, I could not successfully boil an egg.

It wasn’t that I just didn’t boil eggs. The problem was that I couldn’t boil eggs.

It wasn’t for lack of trying.

It was just that, well, I lacked finesse.

They would crack.
They would get rubbery.
They would smell funny.
They would be INEDIBLE.

And I swore I would never make hard-boiled eggs again.

But then.

Then I went to our local Saturday Morning Market.  And emerged with a local bounty of amazing organic vegetables from Worden Farm. I knew I needed to make a salad! Then I snagged my eggs from The Dancing Goat and it hit me. I needed to make a Nicoise salad. And, most specifically, I *needed* to hard-boil some eggs!

So it was time for me to get over the pesky nasty small fear of boiling eggs. Time to tackle a small fear and turn it into a cooking adventure.  Bring on the boiling of eggs!

First of all, have you ever tried to google how to boil an egg? You get SO many results. Not to mention my cookbooks, pinterest, you name it.  Everyone has an opinion. And I mean everyone.

I scratched my head.  I browsed the Internet some more. I called some friends. I texted another. And I still scratched my head.  I hadn’t a clue where to start. And so, I decided I just needed to pick a way.  So why not, I decided to try Real Simple’s instructions on “How to Hard-Boil an Egg.” They seemed full-proof. There were clear instructions, pictures, a video.  It seemed that even my hard-boiled egg cursed self could tackle the recipe.  It was time to learn to successfully boil an egg.

And it began! I put the eggs in the cold water on the stove. I turned the stove on. And….

I waited for the water to boil. And waited for the water to boil.

And waited.

And waited.

I have to tell you, that old expression “a watched pot never boils?” IT IS COMPLETELY TRUE.  I waited and waited and waited and…nada! Only when I finally walked away from the eggs, pretended I didn’t care, wrote in my journal, etc. did the pot FINALLY start to boil!

And, as strange and odd as Real Simple’s instructions seemed to me, I followed them precisely. As soon as the water was at a “full, rolling boil,” I removed the pot with the eggs from the heat. I covered it with a lid.  I waited 12 minutes precisely with a lid on the eggs. Then, I used a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a bowl of cold water.

Result? The best hard-boiled eggs of my LIFE, of course!

And, of course, I’ve had to use the eggs in various ways for the past two days.

Including a delectable dill egg salad and the much desired vegetarian Nicoise salad. (Ironically, I hate olives and left off the Nicoise olives…)

Is there anything that is seemingly simple that you don’t know how to do and are afraid to try? Will you give it a shot? What’s holding you back?  I was afraid to try making hard-boiled eggs again and, low and behold, they are pretty easy to make when you have confidence and a good recipe.  I just needed to admit that I didn’t know what I was doing and then COMMIT to really giving hard-boiled eggs a try!  Is there something that you have been avoiding? How can you let it into your life? No matter how big or large the thing may be, conquering a “can’t” and turning it into a “can” is one of the most satisfying feelings!!!

Here’s my super tasty, super local, organic, healthy Vegetarian Nicoise Salad Recipe
Serves One.


  • One-two hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 3-5 small red potatoes
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • Handful of string beans
  • Local lettuce, washed and dried
  • Small shallot, minced
  • Lemon Juice, one tablespoon
  • Good quality olive oil, two tablespoons
  • Fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

1. Boil potatoes with dash of salt for five to eight minutes.  Remove from boiling water with slotted spoon and set aside. Do not discard water.
2. Add green beans to boiling water. Cook until just tender–approximately three to five minutes. Do not overcook. Remove green beans from heat and instantly transfer to bowl of very cold water with ice cubes to stop cooking.  Once cool, remove green beans from water.  Chop into one to two-inch pieces.
3. Arrange local lettuce on plate, you need to eyeball amount here.
4. Slice cherry tomatoes. Layer on one side of plate.
5. Slice potatoes. Layer on plate.  Add green beans and egg in columns a top lettuce.
6. In a small bowl combine two tablespoons olive oil to one tablespoon lemon juice. Add freshly chopped dill (I used about a tablespoon, but you may like less), minced small shallot, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.  Delicately top salad with dressing, making sure to add a little extra to the potatoes.
7. Serve immediately with crusty bread and enjoy!

Dill Egg Salad
Serves Four


  • Eight hard-boiled Eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons organic or home-made mayonnaise (you can use slightly more, if necessary)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel and mash eggs in a large bowl.
2. Add yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, salt and pepper.
3. Mash and stir ingredients together until thoroughly combined and dill, mayo, and yogurt are evenly distributed throughout.
4. Serve on a sandwich or atop a salad, as shown below.

My local egg salad SALAD with local and organic green beans, cherry tomatoes, French radishes, orange carrots, fresh Parmesan cheese, local lettuce, and dash of high quality olive oil.


  • Nichole

    April 15, 2013 at 10:30 am

    A) That salad looks YUMMY! B) Do you know up until maybe a month ago, I couldn’t successfully boil an egg, either?! My husband of all people showed me how. Ha!