Photo credit: Mari Levine
Photo credit: Mari Levine

My favorite part of Purim is the tradition of mishloach manot, which allows you to share the eating, drinking and general merriment that the holiday mandates. The tradition was originally used to ensure that everyone had enough to eat during the holiday, but it’s also seen now as a way to strengthen relationships and reach out to new friends. This makes Purim—and its command to party with a purpose—the most well-rounded of holidays.

One of the guidelines of these gift packages is that they must include two different kinds of food that are ready to eat. Combinations of fruits, nuts, sweets and hamantaschen are traditional. But you can get as creative as you’d like by including complementary items that are linked together by a theme that’s anything from tame (“Movie Night” with popcorn and soda) to outlandish (some of the items on this list).

The recipe here has the two components built in—the eggs and the beets—that would constitute a mishloach manot theme of “In a Pickle.” Hard-boiled eggs sit in a quick brine of beets and vinegar, which turns the eggs a vibrant purple and gives them a slightly sweet and tangy flavor. This recipe takes mere minutes of hands-on cooking and only a day or two of hands-off pickling, which leaves you more time to plan the rest of your Purim celebration.

Beet-Pickled Eggs

Makes 8 eggs

1 cup water
1 cup white wine vinegar
¾ cup sugar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 small onion, cut into thin wedges
6 small beets (about 10 ounces), roasted, peeled and cut in halves or thirds
8 hardboiled eggs, peeled

1. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then turn heat down to simmer. Simmer until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add onion and beets to saucepan and let cool for 15 minutes.

2. Place eggs in airtight container. Pour beet mixture over eggs, close jar and refrigerate for 24-48 hours. Eggs may be kept refrigerated for one week.