My personal favorite pickled food is pickled beet eggs. As a child, when my grandmother opened a jar of her pickled beets, she would remove beets to serve and then fill the jar space with peeled hard boiled eggs. By the next day, when we sliced the eggs open, the colors were gorgeous! The egg whites were deep purple on the outside, shading to white around the bright yellow yolks (see photo). Beautiful! The flavor was delightful, too–the tang of pickled beets balanced with the mild taste of hard-boiled eggs. Perfect!
As soon as I spotted the first fresh beets at the Farmers Market this year, I was eager to get them home and into pickling juice as quickly as possible. Because I planned to eat them in the next few days, I used a “refrigerator pickle” recipe.
Refrigerator pickles are quick and easy to prepare. Since they will be in the refrigerator constantly from the time they are made, you don’t have to sterilize jars and lids, process the pickles in a hot water bath, and other things required when you want to store pickles long term in your pantry or cabinet. It’s a lot less work to make refrigerator pickles.
Naturally I tucked some eggs in among the beets as I put them in jars. After sitting overnight in the refrigerator, both beets and eggs were ready to eat and I savored every bite.
If you’re willing to let them sit in the refrigerator a day or two longer before you serve them, you can slice the beets into quarter inch slices instead of dicing them. I used the smaller pieces because I knew they would absorb the pickling juice more quickly. You can also take the eggs to the next level of delicious by deviling them after they’re pickled. (Okay, I’m heading to the market again right now…)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- 3 medium beets (Broadleaf Farm, Everson)
- 1 shallots head or small onion, halved (home garden)
- 1 sprig rosemary (home garden)
- 1 Tbsp butter (Breckinridge Farm, Everson)
- 4 eggs (Nettles Farm, Lummi Island)
- 1/2 onion, chopped (Hopewell Farm, Everson)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (BelleWood Acres, Lynden)
- 1/4 cup honey (Guilmette’s Busy Bees, Bellingham)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt (table salt has additives that can cloud pickle juice) (see Exceptions)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter and drizzle over the cleaned whole beets. Wrap beets with shallots and rosemary in aluminum foil. Fold edges to seal tightly. Roast in oven for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, put eggs in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then turn off heat, and leave eggs in the hot water for 10-12 minutes. Drain and rinse eggs in cold water until cool enough to remove the shells.
After beets have finished roasting, let them cool just enough to handle. Remove skins, and dice beets into 1/4 inch cubes. Mix beets and chopped onion, and put into a clean quart jar, putting eggs between layers of beets. (Use a glass jar–beets might stain plastic, and a metal container can make the eggs turn slimy.) Make sure eggs are completely surrounded with beets and onions. They’ll absorb the beet color most evenly if the eggs are not touching the sides of the jar.
In saucepan, mix 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup water. and 3/4 tsp kosher salt. Boil for 3 minutes, then pour carefully over beets. Use a funnel, if necessary.
Put lid on jar (no sealing necessary) and put in refrigerator for at least overnight, or up to several days.
Serve the pickled beets cold or hot on lettuce leaves with the sliced eggs. Saute the beet leaves in butter with a little minced garlic and serve on the side, dressed with a drizzle of pickle juice.
Home garden, Lummi Island
Lummi Island Farmers Market
Community Food Co-operative, Westerly and Cordata, Bellingham
Terra Organica, Flora and Cornwall, Bellingham