Mrs. Thrift’s Red Beet Eggs

Submitted by Betsy Williams of Andover, MA. She gets her eggs from Springdell Farm in Littleton where she gets her meat CSA, and she finds her copies of Edible Boston at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA. I grew up loving pickles of all kinds—cucumbers, beans, watermelon, cauliflower, carrots, apples, onions, even pigs feet—but I never knew you could pickle eggs. And I certainly didn’t know pickled eggs would turn a deep ruby red if you added beets!

One long-ago Easter Sunday, my sister arrived for dinner carrying a beautiful blue and white antique bowl heaped with peeled, hard-boiled eggs the color of rubies accented with sliced baby beets. I took one look at that beautiful sight and fell in love before I even tasted them! Red beet eggs have been an Easter staple ever since. When it’s time to make them, I let the eggs sit in the refrigerator for several days before boiling. It’s hard to cleanly peel a freshly laid egg!

12 large eggs, hard-cooked and peeled 3 small beets, boiled and peeled 1½ cups herb or apple cider vinegar 1½ cups water ½ cup sugar 8-10 whole cloves 1 cinnamon stick 2-3 allspice berries

Put the peeled eggs into a non-reactive, heatproof container with a lid, such as a glass or ceramic casserole. Cut the beets into ¼ inch slices. Measure the water, vinegar, and sugar into a small saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and add the whole spices. Boil 2 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour the pickling liquid over the eggs. Add the sliced beets and stir gently, being careful not to nick the eggs. The pickling liquid should completely cover the eggs and beets. If it doesn’t, add a little more water or put a small plate on top of the eggs and beets to push them under the liquid. Cover tightly. Put the container of beets into the refrigerator.  It takes a week to 10 days for the eggs and beets to pickle. Red beet eggs are a delicious accompaniment to roast lamb and chicken as well as baked ham. Sliced red beet eggs make a pretty appetizer presented on crisp toast squares topped with a dollop of seasoned mayonnaise. The sliced eggs and pickled beets are also a bright, savory addition to plated salads.