Last week I was making Easter dinner (wait, I’ll explain!) for a photo shoot for the April Issue of Prevention magazine. They are doing a story on my upcoming book, Organic Manifesto, and wanted a real Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen holiday meal to feature in their pages. So, this being for a spring issue, I pulled out my seasonal recipes from this blog…which are also, by the way, all available on the Rodale Recipe Finder—search under Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen or use this link to see all the MFCK recipes on the Recipe Finder.
I’d already pulled the recipes for my amazing ham with marmalade ham glaze, scalloped potatoes, and broiled asparagus from the recipe finder (oh, and my rhubarb sauce, too). So I added in a salad with peas and mint to the menu (you’ll have to wait for the magazine for details on that one!). But something still felt missing. This was Easter, after all. Easter requires eggs, preferably colored eggs. So, on a lark, I made some of my pickled red beet eggs. As you Dutchies know, they’re a real Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy, and beautiful to boot. Most of the recipes I’ve seen start with: “Take a can or jar of pickled red beets…” Gasp! I would never do that. Besides, when was the last time you saw a can or jar of organic pickled beets? Anyway, I always buy beets and then can never think what to do with them…So, I figured out how to make pickled beet eggs, and with the help of a few Facebook friends, figured out some of the secret ingredients (cinnamon and cloves!) that make them “real darn goot.”
When you see the photos in Prevention—if you remember to look for the story in April—You’ll see I’m wearing an apron that I had custom-made by my friend and farm neighbor, Ida Burkholder. She’s a real Mennonite, which is not quite as serious as Amish, but I have heard her speaking her German dialect when the phone rings at her house (yes, she has a phone). I had her make a version of a good Mennonite apron in a bit more modern shape, and made with organic cotton. The good thing about these aprons is they don’t choke you around the neck. Anyway, I’m sure she makes her own pickled red beet eggs, but this is my recipe:
Pickled Red Beet Eggs
6 large red beets
6 cups water
6 eggs, hard-boiled
½ cup sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 stick cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 shallot (optional)
Trim the ends off the red beets and put them into about 6 cups of water. Bring to boil and cook for about 20 minutes.
Hard-boil the eggs and peel them.
In a separate saucepan, take 4 cups of the cooked beet water/juice and mix it with the sugar, the apple cider vinegar, the cloves, cinnamon, and salt. Cook on the stovetop until the sugar is dissolved (no more than a few minutes on high heat).
Put the peeled eggs, the red beet mixture, and a chopped shallot into a large bowl. Take the cooked beets and slip off their skins; slice the beets and add them to the bowl. Put the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. By the next day the eggs will be a gorgeous magenta color.
These eggs are beautiful when sliced and added to salad. Or just eat them whole as a snack. They will keep in the fridge for three to four days.