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Beet Pickled Egg and Chard Empanadas with Black Sesame.

June 7, 2012


A few weeks ago I shared a perfect day with a friend.

Early one Saturday morning and three cups of coffee in, we were everywhere. Making stops for the market, friends, a hike, lunch, shopping. It was a jam-packed seven hours, but there was something that hit home. After our hike in Del Mar, we arrived at this Peruvian cafe. I ordered one of their empanadas, and I believe all of my emotions summoned upon a first bite.

We were enjoying each other, the food, and our time outside. It was like this external balance with the right amount of doing, living, and being perfectly satiated in a moment. I love when feelings like this sneak in over a nice meal. They’ve become noticed, special, and embraced, only if you let them. Your heart gets to skip a few beats, that whole bit.

It was awesome, and the empanada tasted surreal.


Turns out, I’ve been baking some precious pockets of dough lately with that special day and sweet friend in thought, filling them with leafy produce from the market.

Here I’ve pickled and beet stained some soft-boiled eggs until their color is deep of fuchsia. Each beet pickled egg is evenly surrounded by a chopped filling of sautéed swiss chard, beet greens, onions, and seasoning. The mixture is then rolled and wrapped in steamed leaves of red chard to secure the filling, and to show off the beautifully red-veined hues of the wilted green. Each wrap is encased in a slightly sweet shell of dough, brushed with an egg wash, generously sprinkled with black sesame, and baked until golden with the best yet to come: to slice, to let all that steam escape, and to admire that egg.



These empanadas were given an interesting looking process, so I thought I’d follow suit in a name.

After editing some photos I decided that I’d call them my dragon eggs. I make dragon eggs now, have you heard? Game of Thrones, anyone? :) For now, I’ll just pretend these eggs are as cool as the petrified ones throughout the first season of that series.



So, with four bunches of swiss chard, beets, some vinegar, and a dozen eggs later, there was a fleeting inspiration prevented from vanishing forever. These empanadas are wholesome and tangy with a distinct earthy flavor from the greens, dipping them in a garlic chili sauce wasn’t a bad move either. Sriracha, you have me.


A quick mention, last weekend I had a special opportunity of meeting some ladies in food. It was such a pleasure seeing you again Nicole, and to have met Kimberley Kathryne, Kasey, LauraYossy, ElizabethKristinDianaSarahBarbie, and Cathy. Thank you  for being a fabulous host Veronica. It was a beautiful evening, and everyone brought something lovely to the table. I had a great time, thank you all.

In the meantime, a friend is coming to visit me here in New York this weekend, we’ll have some fun days together. Excited :)

Until I return,



34 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2012 3:12 pm

    woah, like woah. I dont think I have ever seen an empanada like this. Sounds awesome! I have def seen chopped egg inside but a whole beet pickled egg! Sesame seeds! Your empanadas are so much prettier then mine :)

  2. June 7, 2012 4:18 pm

    Lovely Read! You are so special :)

  3. June 7, 2012 4:19 pm

    Woah these are crazy! The picture of the wrapped-up filling before it gets stuck in its shell reminds me of a faberge egg’s hippie cousin who lives on a commune in south american. There was I think an empanada place by jarv’s old sublet way back when, I think it was empanadas, but who knows, either way they were great! Find that place. Eat there. Report back. Send me a fuchsia egg.

  4. June 7, 2012 4:22 pm

    Gosh I know exactly what you mean. The whole day/your whole life culminates in that first bite of something wonderful. It’s the instance of a perfect world all coming together. Beautiful. Love these photos and big time love that matte black plate. It’s dramatic and muted at the same time, perfect.

    Was lovely to meet you Sarah, what fun.

    • June 10, 2012 5:32 pm

      Such a perfect world type feeling, YES! So loved meeting you too Laura, hopefully we can make it so that our paths continue to pass. Make another trip to Cali!

  5. June 7, 2012 7:40 pm

    Stunning! I love your dragon eggs and will always go for a baked pocket of goodness. The recipe is even more special because of the story behind it. Here’s to good days with good friends!

  6. Kate permalink
    June 7, 2012 8:29 pm

    I love those days.

    And dragon egg empanadas… so rad!

  7. June 8, 2012 12:25 am

    Beautiful descriptions, photos and such amazing colours.. going to try these out for sure. How long did you pickle the eggs for?

    • June 10, 2012 5:38 pm

      Thank you Matt! I pickled the eggs for about 24 hours, anywhere between 24-48 works well, the purplish red hue seeps in better that way. Let me know how yours turn out. :))

  8. Kris permalink
    June 8, 2012 12:23 pm

    These are just lovely! Wow! Great job.

  9. June 8, 2012 12:41 pm

    Amazing! The photos are stunning! Congrats on such beautiful work! I might have to give these a try! Would love a recipe! Well done!

  10. June 10, 2012 5:27 am

    Between work and school, days like that are rare (for me) – but when they happen, it’s such a special treat. Sounds like you had a beautiful day with your friend. And what lovely empanadas. I’m especially fond of the pickled eggs – how gorgeous!

  11. June 10, 2012 8:06 am

    These are beautiful! A must make!

  12. June 11, 2012 5:42 am

    Your dragon eggs and empanadas are truly beautiful! I want to eat them right now for breakfast!

  13. christelleisflabbergasting permalink
    June 11, 2012 5:43 am

    Your dragon eggs and empanadas are truly beautiful! I want to eat them right now for breakfast! ;)

  14. June 11, 2012 12:10 pm

    These are gorgeous! And dragon eggs are the perfect name. Lovely as always, Ms. Sarah.

  15. June 15, 2012 10:47 am

    I had so much fun hanging out with you, Sarah! You are a special lady. I really do hope you’ll be making some visits to SF soon. Empanadas are one of my favorite things, and the color of that egg? I can only imagine biting into a little doughy pocket of goodness and seeing that inside. Hope you had an amazing time with your friend, lovely! Have a fabulous weekend.

  16. June 18, 2012 6:10 pm

    Well, this whole blog is kind of unfairly stunning. Just incredible work here. I’m blown away. Keep it up, and maybe post a recipe or two sometime? Maybe? Please?

    • June 18, 2012 6:26 pm

      Ok, I am a moron; I didn’t even see the recipe section. But it is not full enough.

      • June 24, 2012 11:44 pm

        Beth- Thank you! I’m not too good at the whole recipe thing. It’s more of a food photo blog here :) Thanks for stopping over.

  17. dandelion_blower permalink
    June 19, 2012 9:34 am

    Wow. Just wow. Soooo gorgeous.

  18. June 20, 2012 12:30 pm

    Stunning, Sarah. Truly.

  19. June 23, 2012 5:47 pm

    Beautiful, different empanadas. But I love your wooden board! And your blog

  20. July 5, 2012 4:45 pm

    Your empanadas look amazing and oh so pretty. Just like dragon eggs :D

  21. July 17, 2012 3:35 pm

    Ok. I have no idea how I haven’t seen your blog before. No idea. It’s excellent. Insta-fan. This whole dish is so carefully & beautifully wrought. It actually reminds me of a sweet korean black bean cake topped w/ black sesame seeds I had recently which had what appeared to be an egg yolk center. Anyway, I just wanted to say that your work is the sort of work the inspires me. The photography does the dish justice. I just saw Dinah Fried’s “fictitious foods” series and my imagination was already childishly pleased… these dragon eggs are fantastic and even more magical!

  22. July 24, 2012 6:47 am

    Hi Sarah, I found your blog through Gourmet Live. Your photography is just awesome; and your food, double awesome! These empanadas as just genius – they are unique and they look delicious.

  23. July 26, 2012 1:14 am

    such a great idea! and a great post! inspiring !

  24. August 10, 2012 10:19 am

    so creative – wow – those colors!

  25. Birdlene permalink
    February 6, 2013 8:33 am

    Want the recipe!!

  26. July 29, 2013 11:36 pm

    Gorgeous! I want to make beet pickled eggs but I’m scared! Would you share what you pickled them in??

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