Pickled Eggs with Red Onions and Curry (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Pickled Eggs with Red Onions and Curry (Photo/Faith Kramer)

For Mother’s Day or Lag Ba’Omer, these dishes can’t be beet

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Turn one can of sliced beets into two delicious dishes for any upcoming spring or summer celebration — or, specifically, for Mother’s Day on May 8 or Lag Ba’Omer on May 19.

Use the liquid in the can for the pickled eggs dish, as it’s customary to eat eggs (a food of mourning) to remind us of the sadness of the 49-day Omer period between the second night of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot. Adding the beet coloring signifies that Lag Ba’Omer (which this year starts at sunset on May 18) is a joyous day. Serve the eggs halved as a piquant starter.

The beet slices, meanwhile, can be used for the potato, beet and feta salad. Use a vegan feta for a parve version.

Make the eggs several days beforehand, then refrigerate the beet slices and make the salad up within four hours of serving.

Pickled Eggs with Red Onions and Curry

Makes 12

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 15-oz. can sliced beets with liquid
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1½ Tbs. salt
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. crushed whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 12 large hard-boiled eggs, shelled
  • 2 sprigs of dill

Take a clean, wide-mouth, 1-quart glass jar with lid and fill it to the brim with boiling water (and pour more over the lid). Leave filled with water.

Cut the onion in very thin slices. Cut slices in half.

Drain beets, separating liquid and beet slices (saving beets for another use). Measure the beet liquid, and add water to make 1 cup. Pour in saucepan. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, curry powder, peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to keep at a simmer.

Pour the water out of the 1-quart glass jar. Place eggs, cut onions and dill in the jar. Pour pickling liquid into a heat-proof measuring cup or beaker with spout. Pour into jar until contents are covered. If there is not enough liquid to cover, make up the difference with 1 part water to 2 parts vinegar.

Cool uncovered. Once cool, close lid. Refrigerate overnight (but it’s better to make them a few days in advance). Keep refrigerated. Eat eggs within 2 to 3 weeks.

Potato-Beet-Feta Salad

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 lb. Yukon potatoes
  • Dill and garlic vinaigrette (see below)
  • Beet slices from 15-oz. can of sliced beets, drained
  • ½ cup chopped red onions, divided
  • 6- to 8-oz. vegan or regular feta, cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. tahini
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped dill

Boil potatoes until soft but not mushy. Once cool enough to handle, remove skins and cut potatoes into ¼-inch slices. Place in large bowl. Stir in ½ cup vinaigrette (see below) and ¼ cup onions. (Warm potatoes absorb the flavor of the vinaigrette better; room-temperature potatoes keep their shape better).

In another bowl, mix beet slices with ¼ cup vinaigrette and ¼ cup onions.

In a third bowl, mix feta with ¼ cup vinaigrette.

Let all three marinate for 10 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Just before serving, spread potato mixture in a 10-inch circle in the center of a rimmed plate (or use a clear bowl). Layer the beet slices next, scattering remaining red onions from the beet mixture on top. Arrange feta on top of that. Drizzle with tahini. Sprinkle with dill. Serve immediately or wrap and chill for up to 4 hours.

Dill and garlic vinaigrette: Combine ¼ tsp. ground dry mustard, ¼ tsp. sugar, ½ tsp. salt, ½ tsp. ground black pepper, 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1 tsp. minced lemon zest, 1 Tbs. finely chopped dill, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, ½ cup apple cider vinegar and ¾ cup vegetable oil. Mix well. Taste and adjust salt, sugar or lemon juice, if needed. Stir well before using.

Potato-Beet-Feta Salad (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Potato-Beet-Feta Salad (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is faithkramer.com. Contact her at [email protected].