If you have kids, you likely have a lot of very colorful hard-cooked eggs* taking up space in your fridge right now. Of course you can snack on them as-is, or mix them with mayo for deviled eggs and egg salad. And, if you’re feeling particularly gourmet, grate them over roasted asparagus. But after a couple days of this, you’re probably going to need a break from the incredible edible egg. That’s when you need to break out the brine.
Pickled eggs can keep for weeks. Plus, their tangy flavor makes them seriously irresistible. Roll them in a little sea salt, slice them into a salad, devil them with mustard and herbs. However you eat them, that pickle-y tang cuts the egg’s natural richness and makes them mouthwatering.
The brine for pickled eggs is infinitely variable. I prefer to use a 2-to-1 ratio of vinegar to water (instead of the more tame 1-to-1 ratio). From there you can add whatever flavorings, spices and aromatics you like. And if you add other vegetables, like diced beets, sliced carrots and cauliflower florets, you get a pickled two-fer — and in the case of beets, a pop of gorgeous color, too.
*Note: If you used boiled Easter eggs for an egg hunt or decoration and left them out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, they’re technically not safe to eat.
Makes 8 eggs
Pickling eggs with beets not only infuses them with a vibrant fuchsia color, it gives you two deliciously tangy things to snack on and add to salads. If you want to experiment with other colors, try adding turmeric or paprika to the brine. Steaming the eggs, instead of boiling them, makes them easier to peel — even super-fresh eggs will be no problem.
1 large or two small beets
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1 handful fresh dill (about 1 ounce), optional
2 large cloves garlic, smashed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim off all but 1 inch of the beet tops (save greens for braising). Trim off the roots, scrub clean and wrap in a foil packet. Roast until beets are tender all the way through, about 50 minutes. When cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to slip off the skins. Cut into ½-inch dice. (Can be roasted several days ahead and refrigerated.)
Meanwhile, fit a steamer insert into a pot and fill with a few inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the eggs, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and plunge into ice water until cool. (Eggs can be made several days ahead and refrigerated.)
In a large saucepan, bring vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and pickling spice to a boil. Remove from heat.
Place the fresh dill and garlic in a quart-size glass container. Peel the eggs and layer them in the jar along with at least 1/2 cup of diced roasted beets. Pour any accumulated beet juices into the jar, then add enough brine to completely cover the eggs (you might not use it all). Cover and refrigerate. Allow eggs to pickle for at least 3 days before serving. Eggs will keep, refrigerated, for 3 weeks.