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Eggs dyed au naturel have soft, subtle hues

April 03, 2001

Eggs dyed au naturel have soft, subtle hues



Michael Chiarello, founding chef and partner of Tra Vigne restaurant in California's Napa Valley, comes from a big southern Italian family where growing, preparing and enjoying food was at the center of everything, especially at Easter.

Chiarello has expanded on that family heritage by creating his own Easter rituals centered on seasonal living - combined with his professional interest in artfully served meals and fresh produce.

One of Chiarello's favorite Easter activities is gathering friends and family to dye Easter eggs naturally. Dyes from simple kitchen ingredients produce eggs in a variety of soft, subtle hues, a change from the more commonly seen bright, pastel colors.

You can use almost anything edible in your kitchen to color eggs, Chiarello has found.

Coloring ingredients


Try beets for beige to bright pink eggs; coarsely chopped red cabbage for pale to royal blue; blueberries for lavender shades; brewed coffee for a deep mocha color; cranberries for pale pink; turmeric for bright orange; or yellow onion skins with black peppercorns to produce beige to mauve tones.

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Use 2 to 4 cups of the ingredient per pot, more for onion skins (about 4 to 6 cups) and less for spices like turmeric (start with about 1 tablespoon).

A tip: Use one ingredient per batch to avoid muddy colors.

- The Associated Press

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