The most beautiful pickled egg recipe you’ve ever seen

You know how people say to salt your pasta water so it tastes like the sea? And if you don’t, no matter how much you salt your pasta sauce, you’re kind of screwed already? Pickling eggs has a similar effect. You can add all the vinegar you want to your egg salad, but using pickled eggs will always be brighter, punchier, and better overall..

But while eggshells love natural dyes, egg whites love it a bit more. . . how can we put this well. . . difficult. I’ve tried pickling eggs with parsley, spinach, matcha, carrots, even Korean gochugaru – but all of them gave a yellowish-grey-brown eggshell hue. It definitely wasn’t the cheerful spring look I was going for.

That was before I knocked turmeric, beet juice and red cabbage – all ingredients that naturally leave eggs pickled with vibrant color – and they’re delicious to boot. This means you can present those eggs – which are tangy from their vinegar water bath (think your favorite pickled carrot, only instead of a carrot, you have an egg) – on the dining table instead of them. hide in your garden. Because they’re pickled and contain natural food coloring, they’re less likely to completely rot (even when refrigerated) than traditional Easter eggs. And guess what, you don’t need to follow a pickled egg recipe to win Easter (or food coloring, for that matter). Follow our step-by-step formula to prepare pickled eggs for the holidays and beyond.

How to Dye Pickled Eggs Naturally

1. Boil the eggs.

Each batch of the main brine below will yield enough liquid to cover four pickled eggs, but feel free to halve or double (or triple!), depending on how many bunnies are present at Easter.

To start, fill a saucepan with cold water and turn the heat to high. Season with a pinch of salt, plus a little white vinegar (apple cider will work too) — it makes the eggs easier to peel. Bring to the boil, then gently add the eggs using a spoon. Boil for 8 minutes. This creates an almost gooey, half-cooked yolk, which will begin to harden in the vinegar water solution. For a harder yolk, boil 1-2 minutes longer. (Of course, if you have another favorite method of boiling hard-boiled eggs, you can go with that, especially if you want to turn pickled eggs into pickled eggs eventually. diabolical eggs.)

Rinse under cold water and peel while hot. Or if you want the marbled effect, don’t peel the eggs: roll them on the surface so that the shell bursts but doesn’t come off the egg itself. In any case, you can immediately proceed to brine or store in the refrigerator for a few days. A quick note: if you’re using pre-cooked, dyed, and shelled Easter eggs for your pickling project, just make sure you’ve used food coloring (food coloring works, or one of the all-natural types here) or nope. – toxic dye (like any of those here!) to get the job done.

2. Make your mother’s brine – i.e. the pickling liquid!

Combine all of the following ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar and salt.

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar (or substitute 1/2 cup with a flavorful addition like apple cider, rice, red or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

3. Choose your color and aromas. Add them to the pot!

You wonder if color leads to flavor. The answer: Some more than others. In the case of the pink dye, the eggs will take on a distinct beet taste. And while the purple eggs have hints of caraway, they’re not particularly cabbage. The yellow and orange colorings are the most subtle of the bunch – the flavor is not far off from still white pickled eggs. If you’re new to the process and flavor of pickled eggs, the turmeric-ginger-mustard mix is ​​best to start with (more on that later).

When it comes to adding more flavor to your brine, pretty much all of the vinegar and pickle principles apply here: whole spices are ideal, and for a brine of this size I would recommend s Stick to an amount between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, depending on how much you’d like it. Try black or pink peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or red pepper flakes. You can also experiment with herbs and alliums: dill would work wonderfully here, tarragon would be nice in the more subtle orange brine, and a few slices of garlic clove wouldn’t be out of place in any of the mixtures.

Add the ingredients for one color (these amounts correspond to one batch of brine) and stir until saturated. Turn off the fire.

Pink

Yellow

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard

Orange

Mix the pink and yellow recipes and you have the best of both worlds – a bright tangerine. Leave the beets in the brine for at least an hour, then check the color. The longer it sits, the pinker the brine will turn. Bring the mixture back to a boil before pouring it over the eggs.

  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 wine cork-sized pieces of roasted beetroot

purple blue

Red cabbage is the chameleon of the plant world. Boil it in water and you get a dark purple liquid. But play with the pH level (the base or acidity of the solution) and you can go from blue to green to pink. Because pickle brine is vinegar-based, you need baking soda to balance the solution from magenta to lavender. It will fizz and wiggle, but that’s just right.

  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons baking soda (or less to 2 1/4 teaspoons for a more purplish tint)

4. Dyeing.

Place the eggs in a glass jar with an airtight, well-sealed lid (those asparagus-sized mason jars work well). Pour the hot brine and its colored complements over it. Close the lid, then turn the jar a few times to make sure the heat from the brine has touched all parts of the jar (and that each egg is completely submerged).

5. Choose your shade.

The saturation and acidity of eggs completely depends on the duration of their bath. You can remove them as soon as an hour or leave them there for weeks. To create an ombré effect, with a gradient of shades, pull the eggs gradually.

If you eat the pickled eggs that day, you can keep them on the counter. But longer than that, transfer them to the fridge (you’ll want to let the jar and its contents come to room temperature before placing it in the fridge – hot items in a cold fridge are a food safety no-no, as they can lower the temperature of other things in there). Since the flavor and color will get more intense over time, I like to take them out of the brine within a week (but they’ll stay good much longer than that if you keep them submerged). It’s really just a matter of personal preference.

6. Eat!

If you used ground spices in brine, consider giving your eggs a quick rinse before digging. The last thing you want is to take a bite and be faced with a whole caraway seed or aniseed pod. Then eat them as is or use them where you would normally use hard-boiled or soft-boiled eggs for a punchy, bright flavor base:

  • Pink Deviled Eggs: Cut the eggs in half. Separate the yolks in a bowl and mix with the mayonnaise, Dijon, paprika and cayenne pepper. Spoon or pipe in white nooks. Finely chop the beets and sprinkle over them. Garnish with flaky salt and a sprig of dill.
  • Egg salad with yellow curry: Cut or grate the eggs. Add mayonnaise, curry powder and some chopped celery and green onions. Season with salt to taste. Serve with grainy toast, crackers or cucumber slices.
  • Gribiche carrots with orange: Finely chop the eggs and mix with the olive oil, Dijon, white wine vinegar, capers, minced gherkins and chopped parsley. Blanch and shock carrots (preferably small, freshly harvested ones!) in salted water. Serve hot or cold with gribiche on top. (Gribiche is also excellent on asparagus or pasta.)
  • Reuben purple breakfast: Melt plenty of Swiss cheese on two slices of rye bread. Sandwich with thick sliced ​​eggs, pickled cabbage and Thousand Island dressing. Or make a Reuben plaque with them

How to use pickled eggs

Think beyond Easter egg hunts and consider all the different ways to use pickled eggs. From egg salads to deviled eggs, these hard-hitting bites are endlessly adaptable for post-holiday snacks and lunches.

1. The Scuttlebut

Pickled eggs make an epic sandwich filling – and especially so in this recipe, where other sour and tangy stuff abounds. If that’s too “wham pow!”, feel free to swap out one of the pickled veggies for a fresh shaved one (or keep them all in and use the eggs you’ve brined for just an hour).

2. White Bean and Tuna Salad with Hard Boiled Eggs and Dukkah

Canned tuna and white beans are instantly spiced up with a handful of torn fresh parsley and a sprinkle of dukkah, a Middle Eastern spice and nut mix. A jammy boiled egg or two – or better yet, a few sliced ​​pickled eggs (the cabbage and caraway flavored kind works wonderfully here) – completes the picture, as does a big piece of crusty bread.

3. Virginia Willis Deviled Eggs

Did you know you can heck the pickled eggs? Indeed, you can, and they are better off for it. Here, in Virginia Willis’ revolutionary recipe (which instructs us to use regular boiled eggs, which you can substitute with pickled ones), the yolks are scooped up and mixed in with the usual suspects – plus a bonus ingredient to make them creamier and dreamier, with a little less vinegary bite (in a good way!). Can you guess what it is?

4. Bagna Cauda toast with radicchio, egg and avocado

Eggs, meet bread (again). Here, crisp, oil-brushed toast is piled high with crunchy, slightly bitter radicchio, tender hard-boiled eggs (but feel free to use pickled here, for a bit more bite) and creamy chunks of avocado. to temper it all. A warm vinaigrette made from anchovies brings it all together.

5. Curried Egg Salad + Marinated Red Onion Smørrebrød

We have been here before. . . at least, sort of. We’ve established that using pickled eggs for egg salad works every time, but this one specifically calls for pre-boiled eggs (perfect excuse to use up leftovers!). The eggs are mixed with Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, curry powder, ground cumin and coriander. Plus, you get an even tangier pickled flavor from the red onions. Just make sure that anyone you serve them to really love pickled things because they. are. strong.