Live Better

Make these beautiful dyed eggs at home using ingredients from your garden

makes: 6-8 eggs for display
Fresh from the garden: eggs, onions, soft herbs such as parsley, mint, thyme
Season: Summer/Autumn

It’s great fun to dye eggs for Greek Easter and all Greek delicatessens sell red dye in paper envelopes. This recipe uses onion skin dye and leaf stencils. It doesn’t matter if the onion skins are yellow, brown or red, the eggs always end up a beautiful burnished copper colour. The colour shows up best on eggs with white shells. Try adding some of these other ingredients to the onion skins to see if they change the colour of the dye: sumac, saffron, turmeric, dried hibiscus flowers, rosehip, dandelion root, beetroot or ripe blackberries.


Nothing beats using your own fresh produce or materials around the house.
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If possible, your equipment should be stainless steel to avoid staining from the dye.


What to do

  • If you don’t want to use uncooked eggs, you can make more traditional Greek Easter eggs and boil the eggs without the stencils.

  • 1.Place the onion skins in the large saucepan with the vinegar and water.

  • 2. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on
    for 30 minutes.

  • 3. Strain the liquid into the mixing bowl, then set aside to cool to room temperature. Throw the onion skins on the compost. This requires adult supervision.

  • 4. Tie a tight knot at one end of each length of stocking to make a bag

  • 5. Gently smooth a leaf over each egg and secure it in position by slipping it in a stocking bag and tying off the other end. (Stretch and twist the end of the stocking when you make the knot to keep the bag taut over the egg.)

  • 6. Carefully place the eggs in the small saucepan – they should fit in a single
    layer without too much extra space.

  • 7. Pour the dye over the eggs – it should cover the eggs completely

  • 8. Slowly bring the eggs to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer,
    covered, for 12 minutes.

  • 9. Remove from the heat. For a deeper colour, leave the eggs to steep for an
    extra 10 minutes, or leave the eggs to cool completely, then transfer to the
    fridge to steep for even longer.

  • 10. Set out the wire rack with a plate or tray underneath to catch any drips.
    Use the slotted spoon to lift the eggs out of the dye and place them on
    the rack.

  • 11. When the eggs are completely cold and dry, cut each knot and remove the
    nylon stocking and leaf.

  • 12. Put a little olive oil on a piece of paper towel and rub the eggs to make
    them shine.

  • 13. Polish the eggs lightly with another piece of paper towel.

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