A classic St James's restaurant, Le Caprice has been feeding the famous since 1947. Try their delicious recipe for gull's eggs.
Le Caprice’s gull’s eggs with celery salt, mustard cress and mayonnaise (serves 4)
Gull’s eggs are very expensive but have a silky taste that exists nowhere else. The season runs from the beginning of May to the beginning of June, with supply heavily controlled by the RSPB. You will need to order them from a game-dealer or good fishmonger.
8-12 gull’s eggs
2 punnets of mustard cress
150ml mayonnaise (to make your own see below)
Celery salt to serve (to make your own see below)
For the celery salt
150g celery leaves
100g sea salt
For the mayonnaise (this yields 330ml of mayonnaise)
2 medium sized free range egg yolks
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp English mustard
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground white pepper
100ml extra virgin olive oil
200ml sunflower oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Pre-heat the oven to 110°C / gas mark ¼.
Spread the celery leaves out on a baking tray and dry out in the oven. This should take around 6 hours. Once completely dry, put into a food processor with the sea salt and blend to a powder-like consistency or coarser if you wish. Keep in an air-tight container and use when necessary.
To make 300ml of mayonnaise, place egg yolks, vinegar, mustards, salt and pepper into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Whisk well. Mix the sunflower and olive oils together and gradually trickle into the bowl whisking continuously. If the mayonnaise is too thick add a few drops of water and continue whisking. When the oil is all incorporated, taste and add more seasoning if necessary, with a dash of lemon juice at the end.
For the dish
Gently place the eggs into a sauce pan of boiling water, and cook for 7 minutes. Plunge into cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Peel carefully.
To serve, arrange the mustard cress on a plate. Dip the tip of each egg into the celery salt and sit 2 to 3 eggs per portion on top of the cress, creating a circular nest. Add a small pile of celery salt next to the cress, along with a dollop of mayonnaise.
For more information about Le Caprice visit www.le-caprice.co.uk