Smithsburg Md., farmer Sally Waltz watched her mother make this hors d'oeuvre/side dish and has long served it at her own family Thanksgiving feast. She uses red beets that she cans herself. The dish has a lovely taste of cloves that is not overpowering.
Make Ahead: The eggs and beets need to marinate in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Servings: 12 , plus leftovers
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water, or as needed
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 30 ounces cooked canned or homemade red beets, cut into chunks, plus their liquid (see headnote)
- 12 to 18 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled (see NOTE)
Have a glass jar or non-staining container large enough to hold the beets, the liquid and all of the eggs.
Combine the vinegar, sugar, water, cloves, celery seed, the beets and all of their liquid/pickling juices in a large saucepan. Add water as needed so the beets are generously covered. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook for a few minutes, then remove from the heat.
Transfer to the container. Add the hard-cooked, peeled eggs; stir gently so the eggs pick up color from the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days before serving, stirring gently once a day to make sure the eggs are evenly colored.
NOTE: To hard-cook eggs, place the eggs in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by an inch or two. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Cover and let sit for no more than 15 minutes. Drain, then cover with cold water until the eggs are cool enough to peel.
Adapted from Smithsburg, Md., farmer Sally Waltz, from her mother's family recipe.
Tested by Sally Waltz and Bonnie S. Benwick.
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