Quite a few of you have asked me how to make those little wooden-looking dyed eggs, so I thought I’d do a short post about them so you have it for next year. It was silly, really; just a matter of experimentation and a little bit of time on my hands, but it worked, and I loved the way they turned out.
As I mentioned in the Easter post, this is the first year I’ve done natural dyes on eggs, and I swear I may never go back; it was so easy, and in my opinion, you get a much better color selection from vegetables and spices and things than you do, say, the neon food dye 4-pack at the store. The tones are more earthy and they suit my taste much better than their artificially colored counterparts. No judgement here: if you like the liquid dye for eggs, have at it, because that’s how we have dyed our eggs for years.
This was a last-minute project, so I didn’t do tons of colors; I plan to do a full rainbow for next year with a color guide. Out of the three I made this year (coffee, spinach, beet), coffee was my favorite, both for its rich, forest-y tone and for its practicality; I don’t know about you, but I have coffee on hand all the time. Additionally, it seemed like the coffee didn’t dye the interior egg as much as the other ones, making it slightly more palatable when you crack into them.
This is a loose recipe, so adjust this as you need to; I’m mostly going to focus on the technique. I made these 4 at a time.
Faux Bois Coffee-Dyed Eggs
- 4 hard-boiled and cooled eggs (to room temperature or slightly warmer is ideal)
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 3-4 tablespoons white vinegar
- cereal bowl (or small, shallow bowl which will snugly fit your eggs and allow the liquid to cover)
In the cereal bowl, mix the vinegar and brewed coffee together. Add the hard-boiled eggs to the liquid (if the liquid doesn’t cover the eggs all the way, add a little water to the mix.) Swirl your eggs around for a few minutes in the mixture until you see the eggs begin to take on color.
Once the eggs are the wood tone you want, sit them snugly against each other in away that they each keep the other ones stable. Using a tablespoon, scoop the water out one tablespoon at a time, being careful not to disturb the eggs as you do so. Let the water settle between scoops; this will form the “rings” on your eggs. Continue to scoop at 5-minute increments, or as you see fit. I stopped at about the halfway point on mine, but you can continue doing this as time (and patience) will allow.
Appetizer time! It’s like a bonus track, I suppose, to the Easter feast; a B-side, if you will. I made these for a dinner we went to the night before; it wasn’t anything fancy, just a family gathering, so I threw these together and we went. Very easy to make for parties, as you can allow them to marinate, kabobed, in the vinaigrette if you wish for a few hours before the event, or you can jar it separately, which makes the entire thing extremely portable. I chose the latter, both for the portability aspect and because acid on green veg tends to grey it out a bit, and I wanted to retain the snappy green of the peas.
It really was a great light appetizer to serve ahead of a heavier, meat-and-potato-laden dinner. None of the ingredients are difficult to find, either; snap peas are sometimes fresh, but if you can’t find them, the frozen sort are perfectly acceptable. We have tiny tomatoes year round and they’re always delicious, and the tortellini is that refrigerated sort you can find at virtually any grocery store.
The vinaigrette served alongside these is the one I ended up using the next day to top the peeled pear and winter greens salad, so I’ll link you over there for that recipe.
Adapted (although not really, because I only doubled the tomatoes) from a Southern Living slideshow; you can find it here. I would have messed with these, but I was less in the mood to experiment that day and more in the mood to crank out some food, I think.
- 1 9-ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas (fresh or frozen will do)
- 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 68 wooden skewers
- 1 recipe dill vinaigrette
To serve, drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette over top your skewers, trying to get a little on each one of them. Serve alongside the remaining vinaigrette so guests can add more as they wish.