Archive | 7:51 am

Purple, Pickled, Peculiar

29 Mar

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.

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Red Beet Eggs

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.

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Red Beet Eggs

So, pickled egg lovers of the world unite! Here is what you’re looking for:

Pennsylvania Dutch Pickled Hard Boiled Eggs And Red Beets (aka, pickled red beet eggs)

  • 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?

Middle Eastern Pickled Cauliflower & Purple Cabbage

Yeah, I thought it was a good idea when I came upon it in that Claudia Roden book, too.

They’re only just becoming really good. There’s a lot of sulfur and other unique chemical compounds for the brine to soften in family Brassicaceae (there’s that pesky Latin again).

Middle Eastern Pickled Cauliflower & Purple Cabbage

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.

Middle Eastern Pickled Cauliflower & 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.

Middle Eastern Pickled Cauliflower & Purple Cabbage

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.

Middle Eastern Pickled Cauliflower & Purple Cabbage

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.

Continue reading