Soon, soon we will be awash in hardboiled eggs. Up to our elbows in pink, green, blue, purple, yellow eggs, if the Easter Bunny has anything to say about it. I’ve never regarded a pile of boiled eggs as a problem, because I am exceedingly fond of egg salad sandwiches and deviled eggs. And I like to bash them up a bit and sprinkle them on salads. Hard-boiled eggs broken up and put into a cream sauce, flavored or not with curry, served on toast is a great lunch, or supper, or breakfast. In fact, I boil eggs just for the heck of it in order to have them on hand.
A couple of weeks ago my niece Sarah, who lives in Belfast, came for a visit to the island, bearing as a gift, a container of the ugliest eggs I’ve seen in a while. They looked as if someone had soaked them for a week in March mud. We quartered one on the spot and ate it, and I thought, what fun: these are delicious.
Sarah explained they are brown from being soaked in tamari or soy sauce. You’ve seen brilliant pink eggs soaked in beet juice to make pickled beets, right? This is a variation on that kind of process.
I served the ugly eggs on a bed of claytonia, also known as miner’s lettuce, a very succulent little cold-tolerant green growing like mad in the hoop house right now. Lightly dressed with oil and vinegar, it tastes very good to a winter-weary palate. I had a little leftover tortellini salad that I heaved onto the plate as well. It was all very tasty.
I’m sure you’ll figure out what to do with the ugly eggs to suit yourself and your households. I’ve advised this before and will again: if they look really bad to you, close your eyes while eating.
A couple of words on tamari: it is very like soy sauce, and you can use soy sauce in place of it. I like to buy tamari in a largish bottle, a pint or more. Soy sauce too often comes in tiny little bottles for sprinkling, unsuited for cooking in any quantity. My niece also thought that perhaps eggs boiled until they could be peeled but are still a little soft might prevent eggs that get too hard. Up to you. Obviously, if you use leftover Easter eggs, that is not an option.
6 boiled eggs, peeled
1/3 to 1/2 cup tamari
Put the tamari in a large sauce pan over medium to low heat. Add eggs. In Sarah’s words, “Stir, shuffle, cajole and poke eggs almost constantly to make sure all surfaces get covered with the simmering/gently boiling and evaporating tamari. Do this until you fear scorching…then stop.” The eggs should be a deep mahogany color. Let cool before serving.
Makes six eggs.