Serve these eggs as an appetizer, or slice or chop them and add them to any salad of raw or cooked vegetables.
• 12 large, very fresh eggs, preferably white, washed very carefully • skins of 12 medium purple onions, or 6 to 8 large purple onions, quartered.
• 2 medium purple onions quartered
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the pickling brine: • 1 1/4 cups white wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons sugar • 3 large sprigs wild fennel or 1 to 2 fennel bulbs, sliced
• 1 large purple onion, sliced • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
• 1 fresh or dried red chili pepper, halved lengthwise
Place a leaf on each egg and wrap with a piece of nylon stocking, tying it tightly with string to keep the leaf in its place during cooking.
Place the eggs in a large pot with the onion skins, whole onions, and quartered onions. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and turn down the heat so the water just simmers. Pour in the olive oil, cover the pot and cook for two to three hours, checking every now and then and adding a little water if the liquid in the pot evaporates. It is important that the liquid and skins cover the eggs completely.
Let the wrapped eggs cool in the onion broth. Cut off the stocking and rinse and dry the eggs. If you like, rub them with some vegetable oil, which makes the color looks brighter.
To pickle the eggs:
Peel six eggs and place in a 1 1/2 pint glass jar. Warm the vinegar with the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Place the fennel, coriander seed, onion slices, and chili pepper in the jar with the eggs. Top with the vinegar mixture, which should cover the eggs. Add extra vinegar if necessary. Let stand at room temperature for at least two weeks, shaking occasionally, before serving.
Pickled huevos haminados will keep for six months to one year in a cool place.