A gentle hand with mayonnaise is a Southern art—and my mother is a master.

Even though every chef in the country has discovered pimento cheese, my sister and I still think Mama’s is the absolute best because it’s not overly polluted with mayonnaise.

She keeps it “clean” and borderline dry, folding in just enough mayonnaise and lemon juice to make it spreadable—and not a milliliter more.

The same applies to her Egg and Olive, another chilled spread Southerners crave in the heat of summer. There’s mayonnaise—but not too much—and a little olive juice from the jar does the rest.

Tangy and briny just like a Dirty Martini!

She adds a little celery for texture and crunch—summer comfort food on a Saltine cracker!

Eggs, olives, celery, less mayo…It occurred to me while hangry on a hot summer day that Mama’s Egg and Olive is not only light, but maybe even superfood status?

I asked MP wellness editor Germaine of Nourished & Empowered.

“Eggs are a great source of Vitamin D, cholesterol and choline, all important in supporting your immune system and hormones,” Germaine says. “The yolks are the heavy hitter—always eat the yolks!

“Olives are a super source of good fats, Vitamin E and antioxidants. Celery is a good fiber source but also full of minerals which are great for replenishing electrolytes.”

What about the mayo?

Germaine’s store-bought pick:
“Most store-bought mayo is made with soybean oil or not-so-good for you oils,” Germaine says. “I make my own or buy Sir Kensington’s made with sunflower oil.”


The Recipe
Like any party dip that Mama just whipped up off the cuff, there’s rarely a written recipe. A quintessential savory cook, she adds a pinch of this or that. Want the recipe? One must always ask for it on the spot it or she’ll never remember, exactly!

So here’s Mama’s Egg and Olive, now Dirty Martini Egg Salad, surprisingly light and nutritious. It’s dirty all right, like a murky vodka martini, yet clean—and tastes like summer.

Chill martini glasses for serving and extra bonus points for using olives soaked in vermouth.

How to Boil Eggs to Perfection

Follow Germaine’s blog updates on her instagram feed @nourishedandempowered