I came across a recipe for beetroot and egg salad and my immediate thought was won’t the beetroot leech red into the egg? Surely it will all look pink? I read it through – because I really like beetroot, and I also like eggs, and it seems that the beetroot should be pickled… pickle and egg? This is getting worse! I often think that beetroot is mistreated, being over cooked, cooked in its skin so there’s always an earthy, muddy taste, and then drowned in vinegar. I love raw beetroot, and if cooked, I peel it first and then reserve the liquor for soup. So what about the eggs, what does the recipe expect me to do with the eggs?
The recipe is a little more than just boiled beetroot in vinegar; it asks for 1 kilo of small beetroot in mixed colours and varieties… sounds good, but cooking them all together will have the pale or golden ones reddened by the traditional colour… so yes, lovely to have different colours, but cook or prepare them separately, I suggest. The pickling mixture…
- 5 oz castor sugar
- 10 fl oz red wine vinegar
- 10 fl oz water
… so it’s a sweet pickle. There’s a Dijon dressing to go with it..
- 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp of castor sugar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 6 tbsp of double cream
… so a sweet acidic dressing to go with the sweet acidic pickle… The boiled eggs are just boiled, but for only 3 minutes so unless they are very small they will be very runny. They are boiled and taken from the pan and plunged in iced water to cool without the yolks getting that grey tinge.
The salad is served on leaves, with the diced beetroot having been in the pickling mixture for an hour, scattered on top, the boiled eggs halved (difficult if they are runny) and arranged, the Dijon dressing spooned over generously, dressed with chopped chives and grated horseradish… Wait a bit, grated fresh horseradish? That would certainly raise your eyebrows and your temperature – fresh horseradish is really hot! I once tried to make my own horseradish sauce and ended up wearing sunglasses and a bandanna and still my eyes streamed!
Despite this particular recipe, I still think the combination of beetroot and eggs, dressed with chives sounds good – maybe with a horseradish cream instead of all the vinegar and sugar? Next time we go to the greengrocer’s I will see if I can find any small, pretty beetroot.
My featured image is from when I roasted some beetroot in a lovely golden oil…what was left in the baking pan was so pretty!