Natural Red Dye Easter Eggs

One of the many traditions for Greek Easter is the coloring of all the boiled eggs red. In the Greek religion the Easter eggs are used to symbolize the blood of Christ. There is a game played at Easter called Tsougrisma. Each player gets a red egg. One player will gently tap the egg of another player. The winner is the one whose egg does not crack. This player will go on to play others. The winner is the one who successfully cracks the eggs of the other players. It is said that this will bring good luck to the winner through out the year. These are important traditions to my Greek heritage mother, so I did a little research. My maternal grandmother came to the United States early in the 20th Century from a small fishing village in Greece. In that small town they didn’t have access to red dyes. I discovered that the traditional way to dye the Easter Eggs was with a natural dye made from yellow onion skins. This method yields a deep rich byzantine red color, like the color that you find in many of the religious Greek icons. It’s the perfect color, the color of my mom’s childhood and it’s all natural. I suggest trying this out. You boil your eggs in the dye and you can save the dye to color more eggs, I kept it in a plastic container in the fridge. Have fun coloring your Greek Easter eggs!

blog red eggs
Red Easter Eggs
Makes 6 eggs
6 white eggs, room temperature
skins of 6 large spanish or yellow onions
3 cups water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
In a medium ( 6 1/4 inch) sauce pan add the onion skins, water and vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and place cover on the pan. Let simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain dye into a bowl and cool. The dye will appear orange, but it will yield red eggs. In the same medium sauce pan add the eggs in one layer. Cover with the cool liquid and add the salt. The eggs should be completely covered , if not add a little water until they are. Bring this to a low boil, reduce heat and cover the pan. Simmer no longer than 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a skimmer remove eggs and place on a wire rack to dry. Once dry, use a paper towel to rub olive oil on the eggs to give a glossy finish. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serve cold or room temperature

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