French "Peasant" Beets

February 22, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min


  • 4 Beets with greens (up to 6; I like a mixture of golden and red beets)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 pinch Salt, or more to taste
  • 1 pinch Freshly ground pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white wine (Muscadet is my preference)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 pound Bucheron Cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 loaf crusty peasant style bread (warmed in oven
In This Recipe


  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:
French|Beet|Shallot|Vegetable|Swiss Chard|One-Pot Wonders|Vegetarian|Side

Reviews (71) Questions (3)

71 Reviews

K September 8, 2018
This was amazing! I served it with a thyme and oregano risotto, added black kale to the greens and user choggia beets. My husband who hates both beets and kale said “wow”’after his first bite and cleaned his car late. So did my five year old. So happy I made enough for a another meal. Also, the whole meal only took me 40 minutes to make! Incredible!
Moema B. July 12, 2018
So I have made this recipe a few times and every time it’s always beautiful. I don’t usually have bread with my beets because I just make some couscous from a box and a nice glass of wine. So delicious!!
Steve March 4, 2018
I have friends coming over tonight for dinner. I'm making roast duck with apricot glaze and was looking for an interesting side dish and came upon this. People are coming soon, but I just sampled it and it is perfect.<br /><br />Your husband should never ridicule you again.
Hannah S. February 28, 2018
This is probably my favorite way to prepare beets, and I've made this recipe many times. I love how easy to make yet sophisticatedly flavored the recipe is. Also love a beet recipe that incorporates the greens without just throwing them in as a salad afterthought. Usually sub in goat cheese, and the last few times I've served on homemade bread (Alexandra Stafford's peasant bread - so easy and so good). Posted about it here:
Susan November 7, 2017
This is a wonderful basic recipe that leaves plenty of room for interpretation. I made this recipe in a black cast iron skillet with a pile of small beets from our garden. It took about 25 minutes of sauteeing and steaming to get the beets carmelized. We did not have any Bucheron, so served with chevre toasts and a poached egg. I added a pinch of chervil and fresh rosemary. The results were lovely! I will make this again.
Jan S. September 25, 2017
You should proofread your recipes. This one is full of typos and misspellings. Looking forward to trying the dish!
judy September 11, 2016
I like the skin on. The large slices allow plenty of surface area to absorb butter. I also toss these in a bowl with melted butter and a little garlic and roast in the oven. I add the greens at the last 5 minutes. I always make sure the greens are a beautiful as the roots. Love beet greens.
Millicent August 31, 2016
We didn't have any chard, so it was less leafy but still delicious. For anyone wondering about which wine to use & possible substitutions, I didn't want to open a bottle just for this -- husband was drinking one of those trendy sour beers, so I used that instead, and it was great. The acidity keeps the beets from being too sweet.
Jess August 27, 2015
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.
Melanie June 21, 2015
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.<br />
Diane P. October 6, 2014
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.
Donna October 5, 2014
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?
Erin February 27, 2015
Donna, I would recommend a mandoline--makes slicing the beets a breeze!
Lucy August 16, 2014
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
Fr3nch1e July 27, 2014
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
Diane P. July 16, 2014
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.
heatheranne April 16, 2014
This was tasty...of course, anything cooked in butter will be!<br /><br />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.
katie March 29, 2014
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.
cucina D. November 7, 2013
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.<br />
skenny89 May 17, 2013
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
constanterratic January 21, 2013
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!