Huevos Haminados is a Passover tradition of dying eggs with onion skins. I always find it interesting that most Christian traditions can be traced back to Jewish or pagan traditions. Try it with both yellow and red onions, on white and brown eggs. The result is a gentle palate of reds and browns. My favorites were the chocolatey brown eggs that came from dying brown eggs with red onion skins. We keep a ziplock bag in the freezer for saving the onion skins throughout the year. It’s a great way to use up those skins and to create your own natural, non-toxic dye.
As for decorating you can use the traditional method of beeswax, or try wrapping the eggs in nylon panty hose with a leaf pressed against the side.
Onion-Skin Easter Eggs
makes one dozen
12 medium eggs at room temperature
12 onion skins
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil, or other edible oil
Clean the eggs so that they are free of particles.
If you haven’t been saving the peels throughout the year, just peel away the dry skins from about a dozen onions. Reserve onions for another use. In a stainless steel saucepan (you might want to use an old one for this, as it can lightly stain the pot), boil 4 1/2 cups water, onion skins and vinegar. When it boils, turn heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (I put the pot outside on a cold day and it cooled off in about 20 minutes.)
Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into another stainless saucepan, or into a bowl and then back into the original pan if that’s all you have. Remember to use a stainless steel pan to avoid staining. Arrange the room-temperature eggs in the pan in one layer and carefully pour the cooled dye over them.
Bring liquid to an easy boil over medium heat. Then reduce to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes, then start checking for color by gently raising an egg out with a slotted spoon. It may take up to 20 minutes to get the right color. Do not cook for more than 20 minutes. (If, after 20 minutes, the eggs are not a deep enough color, remove pot from heat, cool to room temperature, then place in refrigerator until desired color is reached.)
Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and cool on racks. When cool enough to handle, massage in a little olive oil to each, then polish with a paper towel. Keep in refrigerator until time to eat (or hide for your big Easter egg hunt.)