Let’s face it, it’s that time of year when the hearts of children, and yes, grown men and women the world over, sing with glee and hope.
It’s almost time to bite the ears off a chocolate rabbit.
Or snarf down multiple bags of Cadbury’s Mini Eggs.
And while I am human, and I do get a weird thrill out of chomping on dopey, oddly vacant bunnies in dark, milk and white chocolate varieties, the thing that really makes my heart go pitter-pat as we approach the Easter season is, of course, pickles.
And I know I am not alone.
I have been getting dozens of hits a day on this site in the past couple of weeks from people looking for a pickled red beet egg recipe.
So, pickled egg lovers of the world unite! Here is what you’re looking for:
- 1 can small, whole red beets
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1 c. cider vinegar
- 1 c. cold water
- 3 or 4 whole cloves
- small pieces of cinnamon
- 1 doz. hard boiled eggs
Put all together in a pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel eggs and add to liquid and beets.
Put all in a jar or container and cover.
Allow to pickle for about 2 days before using (aka,EATING!)
This recipe first appeared in the Pitcher Hill Church’s Ladies Cook Book.
It’s my grandmother’s recipe, or maybe even her mother’s, or her mother’s mother’s. We’re not 100% sure. What I can guarantee is that these are delicious. Make them and eat them in good health.
But why just make purple pickled eggs? Why not make say, purple pickled cauliflower?
As you can see, they’re beautiful, almost as if rather than starting out as white cauliflower they began life as the purple stuff. But no, all that color has come from the purple cabbage.
Ms Roden doesn’t say which part of the Middle East these are from, but unlike the Iranian pickles I made awhile back, these don’t have dill. They rely entirely on the raw ingredients and the brine to supply the punch, kind of like Middle Eastern sauerkraut.
And how do they taste? Pretty darn good. I tasted them a few days ago and thought they were too salty, so I added a little more white vinegar. This seems to have done the trick. They’re mildly bitter with a mustardy undertone, lightly spicy, perfectly salty and deliciously sour.
I can’t wait to eat them with some pate and crusty bread. But until Meat-Free March is over, tossing them with some bitter greens and cucumbers in a salad slicked lightly with the very best olive oil will have to, happily, do.
Head below the jump for the recipe for Purple Pickled Cauliflower.
Torshi Arnabeet wa Koromb (Pickled Cauliflower and Purple Cabbage)
- 1 small head Cauliflower
- 1/2 Purple Cabbage
- 6-7 tsps Salt
- 3 1/2 cups Water
- 1 1/4 cups Distilled White Vinegar
- Dried Hot Red Chiles
Wash the cauliflower and break into bite sized florets. Cut the cabbage into thick slices. Do not separate. Mix the salt, water and vinegar together to create the brine.
Place a layer of cauliflower in a sterilized, large-mouth pickling jar. Top with a layer of cabbage. Repeat until you reach the top, but bury a chile or two deep in one or two of the layers.
Fill the jar with the brine. Use a long wooden skewer to release any visible trapped air bubbles. Close the lid.
Ms Roden says to place the pickles in a warm spot for 10 days before eating. This skeeved me out a bit, so I put mine in the fridge. While it’s taking them a bit longer to mellow, they’re still turning out just fine.
Eat within a month.
This recipe made two large jars for me.
Adapted from Claudia Roden’s 1968 A Book Of Middle Eastern Food published in the U.S. by Alfred A. Knopf.