French "Peasant" Beets

By • February 22, 2010 64 Comments

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Author Notes: Between our CSA and garden, we found ourselves up to our eyeballs in beets a few summers ago. I concocted this dish as an homage to a simple French peasant dinner. When I explained the concept to my husband, he riduculed me, "What peasants eat boucheron and drink Muscadet with their beets?" "Um, French ones?" - Amy_N-BAmy_N-B

Food52 Review: In our next life, we'd like to be French peasants, or at least, eat like them. We have a soft spot for beet recipes that utilize both the sweet root and minerally tops. Here, Amy_N-B has you caramelize slices of yellow and red beets (we used 4 large beets total; might do 3 next time) and then add a mix of beet tops and Swiss chard, cooking them just enough to wilt. You'll love the dish at this point, but you'll be riveted if you serve it with oozy boucheron and good country bread. The Editors

Serves 2 for dinner, 4 as a side

  • 4-6 Beets with greens (I like a mixture of golden and red beets)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white wine (Muscadet is my preference)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • .5 pounds Bucheron Cheese (room temperature)
  • Crusty peasant style bread (warmed in oven
  1. Scrub and peel the beets. Remove the greens and chop coarsely. Set the greens aside in a large prep bowl. Slice beets into 1/4 inch rounds.
  2. Remove the ribs from the swiss chard and coarsely chop and toss into bowl with the beet greens,
  3. In a large sautee pan, melt butter. Sautee shallots.
  4. Add beet rounds to the shallot butter mixture. Crack some pepper over the beets and a toss on a pinch of salt. Reduce heat and sautee beets, turning over to ensure even cooking.
  5. About 15 minutes later when beets are begnning to glaze and become tender, add greens and chard. Sautee for about 5 minutes, then add wine and cover. Cook until greens are wilted, adding water if necessary. Allow liquid to be mostly absorbed into greens, adjust seasonings.
  6. Scoop greens and beets into a low shallow bowl. Garnish with a sizeable wedge of bucheron and some crusty bread. Crack a little bit of pepper over the entire dish.

More Great Recipes: Beets|Swiss Chard|Vegetables|Side Dishes|Bread

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Comments (64) Questions (3)


3 days ago Jess

Lovely dish! We skipped out on the cheese, and served this as a side dish to sherried sardine toasts with mashed avocado. I think next time I'll double the swiss chard -- I always want more greens, and this recipe can definitely handle them.


2 months ago Melanie

These were amazing. Used spinach instead of Swiss Chard. Had Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge and used that. Also, organic goat cheese from Texas... Yummy.


11 months ago Diane Prenatt

Donna, I did peel and slice the raw beets so they'd absorb the butter and wine while cooking. It wasn't hard with a vegetable peeler and no more clean-up than peeling potatoes or carrots. I'm not sure how much flavor you'd lose if you roasted the unpeeled beets first, then peeled and sliced them, but that might be easier.


11 months ago Donna

Am I missing something with this recipe? It says 'simple' but peeling raw beets and slicing them 1/4" thick is a task that is anything but simple!!!!! Not to mention the cleanup involved. How did everyone handle this part of the recipe?


6 months ago Erin

Donna, I would recommend a mandoline--makes slicing the beets a breeze!


about 1 year ago Lucy

Tried this for dinner tonight and it was delish, but plenty for two without the chard and cheese. We added toasted walnuts to the mix and it was heavenly, with a great crunch


about 1 year ago Fr3nch1e

Made this for lunch and it was great! Such a nice way to eat beetroot. We did not have the boucheron but I bet it is nice with it! I saw a comment suggering to put some mint leaves and I would try next time, the idea of beetroot and mint sounds nice


about 1 year ago Diane Prenatt

This was a hit last night, served as a warm salad after a first course of pan-fried scallops and risotto. Substituted chevre medallions for the boucheron because that's what my store had. We'll have the leftovers tonight with cucumber-yogurt salad.


over 1 year ago heatheranne

This was tasty...of course, anything cooked in butter will be!

Re: trouble cooking them. I covered them, thinking that would help them soften up faster. It took more than 15 minutes, but not a ton more than that. I had it on medium heat.


over 1 year ago katie

No one else mentioned any difficulty cooking the beets. Mine were still not cooked through after 40 minutes of sauteeing them - even though mine were cut thinner than the ones in the pictures above. My shallots ended up burning after so long in the pan. I'm wondering if I had the heat too high? the beets too thin? I can imagine how good these would be if I could perfect the method.


almost 2 years ago cucina di mammina

This is how I have prepared my beets (both red and yellow) for years. I roast them until tender and sugary sweet. Peel, slice and dress with thinly sliced onion, fresh parsley, olive oil and red wine vinegar. I also include the greens, but love that this recipe uses Swiss chard too. A must try when I get my next freh bunch of beets from my farmers market.


over 2 years ago skenny89

This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, I adore it so much and have been making it on the regular since its posting. Thank you so much for it


over 2 years ago constanterratic

Excellent dish! I used feta and red wine instead (it was what I had on hand) and the beets and greens tasted amazing. I love this recipe!


over 2 years ago e_williams

I followed this recipe exactly, even found some locally produced boucheron-style cheese and it was fabulous. I will make this again and again, next time I'll share it with my husband!


over 2 years ago garytoo

Tried this recipe, the wife and I loved it. The cheese we had was smoked gouda, the bread was ciabatta. It accompanied chicken with roasted carrots, and a glass wine. Will definently make again. The dish looked just as the recipe showed.


over 3 years ago oregon cassie

Finally made this tonight (had saved it a while ago) -- it was so very good! No bucheron to be found in our town but I'm addicted to a French triple creme available at Costco (Le Delice de Bourgogne) & the dish was perfection. I made the mistake of using it as a side for grilled steak & roasted green beans but next time will make it the entree!


almost 4 years ago foodieinthemaking

Seriously amazing! I've tried this recipe several times now and have had nothing but amazing results each time. It's great for company but also easy enough to do on a weekday.


almost 4 years ago elisa

I made this dish last night for a few friends, and we all could not stop commenting on how wonderful the dish was. It was superb, I can't wait to make it again! In addition to golden beets and regular red beets, I also used candy striped beets (aka "Chioggia" beets). And I had no Bucheron so I used a semi-firm goat cheese. These substitutions worked out fantastically.
Amy_N-B, thank you for sharing this recipe with us all!


almost 4 years ago isac

made it tonight. it was so good!! pure sweetness. i used fresh goat cheese and it worked really well.
will make it again. next time i will look for bucheron...


almost 4 years ago DaniMama

Super YUM!!! Thanks for the recipe!


almost 4 years ago Tom Wade

Not a beet fan. But will try. tom wade