Red eggs (in Romanian: oua roșii) are perhaps the brightest symbol of Romanian Easter, representing the blood of Christ and rebirth. We also dye eggs other colors, but rarely will a Romanian Easter be celebrated without lots of red eggs. I was looking for an old-fashioned natural method to create red eggs with a deep rich color and came across the recipe to use the skins of yellow onions (yes, yellow onions…lots of them).
Make the dye with the onion skins:
In a stainless saucepan, place skins of 15 yellow (Spanish) onions and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in 4 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
Strain dye into a glass bowl, and let cool to room temperature. The color is orange, but once you boil your eggs it will turn more red.
I used brown and white eggs, and the brown eggs turned darker as expected. If you use more intense onion skin concentration your eggs will be darker red as well.
Boiling the eggs:
In a stainless saucepan (around 8 1/4 inches in diameter), add the cooled strained dye and eggs at room temperature (up to 1 dozen at a time). The eggs should be in one layer and covered by the dye.
Bring to a boil over medium heat. When boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer.
Dyeing time will be affected by the color of the eggs.
Start checking for color at 12-15 minutes. Do not simmer longer than 20 minutes.
If eggs are not a red enough color after 20 minutes, leave in the pot and remove from heat. When the pot as cooled enough, place in refrigerator and let sit until desired color is reached.
Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and cool on racks.
When they can be handled, coat lightly with olive (or other edible) oil and polish with paper toweling. I love this last step, you start to see the beauty of the egg color and reminds me personally of the ‘glazed’ feeling of the eggs when we traditionally break them open on Easter Sunday.
Refrigerate until time to use
What You Need
Fresh uncooked eggs at room temperature
Skins from yellow (Spanish) onions
Olive (or other edible) oil for polishing
Now the question is what do I do with all the onions? French Onion Soup?