Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs Using Onion Skins
Yield: 12 eggs
This is a delightful spring project that has been handed down through families for generations. These eggs aren't just for Easter. Many cultures have used this method to decorate eggs for special occasions. The ingredients couldn't be any simpler and the results are magical.
Peel the onions and place all of the skins in a medium-sized pot. Keep the peeled onions for another use. (My family loves this time of year, because of the huge pot of Caramelized French Onion Soup that comes out of this!)
Pour the water over the skins and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, or until you reach your desired color, stirring occasionally. The liquid in the pan will turn from pale tea color to a deep, gorgeous, brick red. This is your egg dye.
Strain the dye into a smaller saucepan, pressing down on the skins. At this point you may either color your eggs by simmering them in the dye bath for 12 to 15 minutes or you may do a little further decoration.
This method will create a relief design on the surface of the egg. Cut a piece of cheesecloth about 8 inches square. Place a small herb sprig, a flower blossom or foliage on the cheesecloth and set the egg on top of the foliage. Bring the edges of the cheesecloth up around the egg and twist in the back, making sure the decoration is pressed tightly against the front surface of the egg. (This will keep the dye from seeping under the surface of the foliage.) Secure with a rubber band and trim off any excess cheesecloth. Repeat with as many eggs as you would like to decorate.
Place the eggs carefully in the dye bath (you may have to do this in batches) and bring the dye bath to a simmer. Cook the eggs gently for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the color is deep and rich.
Remove the eggs and allow to cool. Cut the rubber band off with kitchen shears and peel off the cheesecloth and the foliage, revealing your design. Once the eggs have cooled completely, rub them with a little vegetable oil to make them shiny. These eggs are edible (although slightly hard cooked) but will need to be stored in the refrigerator if you plan to eat them.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
Source: Demonstrated on KING 5's "Gardening with Ciscoe" show, which aired on April 9, 2011.