For most of us, eggs are the mainstay of a low-carb diet. Poached, fried, scrambled, baked, turned into omelettes, used as a bulking or raising agent or the basis of delicious sauces such as mayonnaise and Hollandaise, there are many ways to eat an egg.
And I thought I’d done them all… but there was one thing I shied away from, too scared to touch it—the pickled egg. The thought of it did funny things to my stomach. I imagined unscrewing a jar of them, my senses assaulted by an over-powering sulphuric, vinegary smell. And that’s despite the fact I love sauerkraut, so you could argue I’m no stranger to the sulphuric, vinegary stuff.
Anyway, as part of my Keep Sundays Special Campaign, last week my husband and I lunched at the Shilling Brewing Company, a Glasgow city centre pub that has its own micro-brewery on location, and happens to do stone oven baked pizzas. I left that dietary choice to the carb-lover in my life and opted for the salad on offer—quinoa, beetroot, rocket, whipped Gorgonzola and a beetroot picked egg.
Blimey, it was delicious. I was determined to make my own. One whiffy afternoon later—pickling anything at home means your house reeks of vinegar for days afterwards—and the results are these purple-pink beauties. Put them in your salads, eat them as a snack, chop up and scatter over cooked cauliflower for colour and contrast.
You’ll need a Kilner jar or other jar large enough to hold six eggs and half a litre of liquid Sterilise your jar by washing it in hot soapy water and then drying it out for 30 minutes in a low oven (about 110 degree C). Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a little malt vinegar as this will help you peel the eggs. Once the water is boiled, lower the eggs in gently, bring back to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for seven minutes. Run under cold water for two minutes to stop the cooking process and peel the eggs. Leave aside. Peel and dice the beetroot. You might want to use plastic gloves for this, as the juice can stain. Place in a saucepan with the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and then bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes and strain to remove the beetroot. Put your eggs into the sterilised Kilner jar and pour over the eggs. Seal the jar and leave for a few days (advice online differs—from 48 hours until two weeks). Once you’ve opened the jar, store the eggs in the fridge and eat within a few days. It’s hard to guess at a carb count. How much sugar and beetroot penetrate them? But I’d guess it’s minimal.
You’ll need a Kilner jar or other jar large enough to hold six eggs and half a litre of liquid