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Delicious pickled eggs with pretty red cabbage that gives them a gorgeous lilac hue. Spices such as cumin, ginger and mustard seeds make things even more interesting. An ideal snack for any time of day; even better if it accompanies a glass of beer.

Quick Pickled Eggs and Red Cabbage www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A side view of a jar with purple pickling liquid inside. Some red cabbage is visible within the liquid.

I made these for a magazine feature recently. The concept was “using up leftovers” from Easter lunch. I love coming up with great ways to use up food that isn’t eaten. And I really hate throwing food away. So this sort of recipe is one of my favourite.

The idea for the feature came after I did a little talk at an event on food waste. The research I did to prepare for this talk left me very unpleasantly surprised and disheartened. Did you know that one third – one third! – of all food produced ends up in the rubbish? The waste might happen in the first stages of production, for example in fields or manufacturing plants, or it might happen further down the processing line, or, finally, on the consumer end. That’s us. In fact, in developed countries the majority of this waste indeed happens on a consumer level. That’s the food you and I buy and never eat. How unbelievably sad.

It’s worse when you think about the big picture. A loaf of bread isn’t just a loaf of bread. It’s the sum of all the resources and energy and labour that went into making it. Do you know what a water footprint is? (I didn’t) It’s the quantity of water that is consumed in order to create something. The water footprint of bread can be up to 1,600 litres of water per kilo! This is a global average and depends on the country, but wow. Do you want to know about meat? In order to produce one kilo of beef, 15,000 litres of water are consumed. Off the charts. Beef has the largest water footprint of all meats. So we all need to think twice before throwing food into the rubbish bin.

Quick Pickled Eggs and Red Cabbage www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: An overhead view of an open jar with pickling liquid inside. Just visible on the surface is an egg and a bay leaf.

For the magazine feature I created three recipes, this is the first, using boiled eggs. There is not a single Greek household that doesn’t have its fair share of boiled eggs on Easter Sunday. And how many can you eat before you kind of want to spruce up the flavour a bit? This is the best way to make them a little different and maybe a tad more interesting. They also last longer too. Not to mention what a delicious snack they are, especially with a drink of beer!

I’ve made something similar before, with beetroot (see here). This version creates a slightly lighter purple colour, more like lilac actually. So pretty! As time goes by the colour further permeates the whites, until after a few weeks it turns them completely purple all the way to the yolk.

Quick Pickled Eggs and Red Cabbage www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A ¾ view of a plate with one whole and one halved pickled egg and some pickled red cabbage. In the background a jar with pickling juice inside.

Now you might think the cabbage is used just for its colour, but actually that too is really tasty. It’s great in sandwiches and would make a fantastic topping for a hotdog or burger.

Are you wondering what the other two recipes are? I’ll keep them as a surprise. They’ll follow over the next few days, as Easter isn’t until the 28th here. Stay tuned!

Oh by the way, the water footprint for eggs is 200 litres for just one large one! So get pickling.

Quick Pickled Eggs and Red Cabbage www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A plate with two wheat rusks topped with soft white cheese, pickled cabbage and pickled egg halves.


6 hard boiled eggs, peeled

240 ml (1 cup) apple cider vinegar

240 ml (1 cup) water

100 gr sugar

1 Tbs salt

1 Tbs pepper corns, mixed colours

2 tsp mustard seeds (I use both yellow and brown)

1/2 tsp cumin, powdered

1/2 tsp ginger, powdered

1 bay leaf

300 gr red cabbage, thinly shredded

Step 1

Put the eggs in a tall mason jar and set aside.

Step 2

In a medium-sized saucepan combine the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper corns, mustard seeds, cumin, ginger and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, add the cabbage, stir, and when it starts bubbling again take it off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

Step 3

Transfer the cabbage to the jar on top of the eggs and pour the juice over everything making sure to add the spices too. Let it cool, close the lid and refrigerate.

Step 4

The eggs can be eaten from the next day onwards, but the flavours will be better and stronger a few days later. Consume within a couple of weeks.


If you have leftover juice you can pop it in a jar with some thinly sliced onion (make sure it’s covered). Two days later you’ll have a small batch of quick pickled onion.

Try the eggs and cabbage with wheat rusks and a fresh white sheep or goat’s cheese.

Water footprint info is from Water Footprint Network

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