Miniature hard-boiled quail eggs are a fun one-bite cocktail party snack, especially when pickled and stained pink by grated beet. Simply make a quick pickling brine by boiling water, vinegar, sugar, salt, spices, and grated beet; cool; and pour over peeled, hard-boiled quail eggs. After a short 24-hour pickling time, the eggs will be ready for your next party. Try this make-ahead appetizer sprinkled with some fancy finishing salt.
Special equipment: You will need a glass pint jar with a tightfitting lid for this recipe.
What to buy: You can find quail eggs at well stocked high-end grocery stores and some farmers’ markets.
1/2 cup peeled and grated beet (from about 1/2 medium beet)
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoonskosher salt, plus more for serving
2 teaspoonspickling spice
Combine the vinegar, water, beet, sugar, measured salt, and pickling spice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit until the mixture cools to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the eggs in a medium saucepan with a tightfitting lid and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit 3 minutes. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water.
When the eggs are ready, transfer them with a slotted spoon to the ice water bath. Let sit until the eggs are cold, about 5 minutes. Carefully crack and peel each egg and rinse under cold water to remove any residual shell pieces. Pat the eggs dry with a paper towel and transfer them to a glass pint jar with a tightfitting lid; set aside.
Set a fine-mesh strainer over a 1- or 2-cup measuring cup with a spout. Pour the cooled pickling liquid into the strainer and discard the contents of the strainer. Pour the pickling liquid over the eggs and seal the jar. Turn the jar upside down a few times to distribute the pickling liquid. Refrigerate at least 24 hours and up to 1 week. Serve the pickled eggs sprinkled with coarse salt.