Kate is my pickle-loving queen. She’s opened my world of pickling possibilities and these eggs just take the cake. Speaking of, I bet you suspect to see a super sweet recipe for the big heart holiday. Instead, we went savory and — gasp! — good-ish for you. Plus, with a bit of bubbly, anything is dessert these days.
As many of you know, I am a wee bit obsessed with pickled products (my recipes for Pickled Ginger Peaches and Pickled Brussels Sprouts may give it away). If I had to choose, however, just one pickled ingredient above all others, I would pick the egg. It was my first memory of truly loving vinegar-y marinated goods, thanks to the most pickle-loving person on the planet, my pops.
Every Easter, he would take our colorfully-dyed eggs and turn them into a batch of the greatest pickled anything ever. His recipe was fairly straightforward, but the eggs were always magical. They became one of my favorite holiday traditions–one that I still uphold today, even down to the coloring.
Why then, are we talking pickled eggs on Valentine’s Day, you ask? It’s not just because I love them so, though that is definitely a factor. These eggs are special because I developed the recipe after spending my five-year anniversary with my husband in Prague–I was particularly inspired by the beet and the egg chlebíčky (an open-faced sandwich of sorts) at Sisters Bistro and the cabbage salad with horseradish from Lokál Dlouhááá.
I decided to give this as a gift to Christopher (surprise, darling!) because I wanted to remember our time together, as well as show him that he makes even the things I have loved all of my life so much better. Plus, the color is perfect for a festive meal with your love or with all of those you love in your life.
If you’re not going to make these into an appetizer, I suggest giving a jar to someone you love. They make a beautiful gift and can be enjoyed for up to one week–they will last longer than that, but the flavors might get a little too intense.
And the puns for the card are endless and wonderful:
My heart beets only for you;
I’m so egg-cited to be with you;
So happy you pick(led) me to love; etc.
I realize that some of you may be wondering why I didn’t just make deviled eggs, since these are only one step from the well-loved appetizer. First, I am a fan of the lazy deviled eggs, but also I liked the look of the red, yellow, and white together and wanted to maintain it. If you want to devil them, by all means, simply blend the horseradish cream with the yolks and pipe them back into the whites. There are no wrong answers when it comes to these eggs.
With that in mind, feel free to play with the ingredients used in pickling. Add more mustard if you want a bit more of that tang; more dill if you like it a bit more herbal; more sugar if you would prefer less vinegar flavor; and so on and so forth. I encourage you to play with your food. Promise I won’t tell your mother.
Ruby Red (Mustard, Dill, Caraway, and Beet) Pickled Eggs with Horseradish Cream
Makes: 6 Eggs
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 12 Hours 10 Minutes
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon caraway seed
- 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
- 6 whole black peppercorn
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup beets, boiled and peeled, and cut into halves
- 1/2 white onion, sliced thin (mandoline thin)
- 4 sprigs fresh dill, plus leaves for garnish
- 6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, caraway seed, mustard, peppercorn, and bay leaf to a low boil over medium-high heat. Swirl until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat. Taste. Add more sugar, if needed to cut the bite of the vinegar.
- In a jar, layer eggs, beets, onion, and dill. Carefully pour the vinegar mixture over the eggs and let sit for 24 hours. The flavor will get more intense the longer you let it sit.
- Mix together sour cream, horseradish, and salt in a small bowl.
- Once the eggs are pickled, slice them in half (I like to cut them horizontally so they stand up nicely) and place them on a platter. Spoon a dollop of horseradish cream over the yolk and top with dill.
- Serve with a few pickled onions on the side.
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