Sure, mom pickled her own beets, but that was in the fall, when the beets were over-abundant in the garden. And then we'd have them for as long as they lasted. They never really lasted long enough.
We liked pickled things. A lot. So mom would have a spare jar or two of Aunt Nellie's stashed somewhere for those inevitable pickled beet emergencies.
What? You didn't have pickled beet emergencies at your house? Wow, how weird. We had all kinds of pickle emergencies. Often involving a stuck jar lid.
Mustard emergencies, too, but that's another story.
I decided to have some fun with Aunt Nellie's beets and some hard boiled eggs. This is a shortcut recipe for beet-pickled eggs, since the beets don't have to be cooked first. Kind of nice when the weather's warm.
The other great thing about these jarred beets is that they're small. Baby beets. Beets at the store or the farmer's market are usually pretty big, except at the very beginning of the growing season. It's nice to have bite-size beets for a different presentation.
Beet-pickled eggs can be eaten simply sliced or wedged, but they also make stunning deviled eggs. I like to let the soak for a shorter period of time so there's still some white in the eggs - just overnight. You can pickle them for a longer time, if you like to let the color permeate all of the egg white.
Since the pickling adds a lot of flavor to the eggs, I made the filling very simple. And then I had fun with garnishing.
Beet-Pickled Deviled Eggs
1 jar Aunt Nellie's pickled baby beets
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (more as needed)
Pinch of salt
Several grinds white pepper
Put the cooked, peeled eggs in a storage container that's not too much larger than needed to store the eggs.
Pour the pickling liquid from the beets into the container. Add water to just cover the eggs.
Cover the container and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. If you think of it, move the eggs around a bit so they color evenly - if the eggs snug too closely or are smashed against the side of the container, those places won't absorb the color as much.
Refrigerate the eggs for 8-12 hours.
Remove the eggs from the refrigerator. Drain and discard the liquid, and dry the eggs. Cut the eggs in half, remove the yolks, and place the yolks in a small bowl. Add the yellow mustard, horseradish, 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Mash the yolks. Add as much more mayonnaise as necessary to get a smooth mixture. It should still be thick, so you can pile (or pipe) it into the egg whites.
Fill the whites with the yolks, then ganish the deviled eggs, with whole small beets, half-beets, sliced or diced beets.