Serves a Crowd

Bright Winter Side (Sauteed Beet Greens, Red Chard and Red Cabbage with Roasted Beets)

March  2, 2011
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4 - 6
Author Notes

Here’s a bright, tasty winter side dish that holds well, even when dressed ahead of time. (Green chard, once cooked, turns brown within a few minutes of being hit with acid. Red chard leaves may too, but in this salad you wouldn’t know it, perhaps because the red of all of the other ingredients overtakes it.) You can easily adapt this recipe to make soup by simmering it in a larger quantity of stock and adding just a splash of vinegar, to taste, before eating. Enjoy!! —AntoniaJames

What You'll Need
  • ½ pound small beets, trimmed (reserving and chopping greens)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • ½ small head of red cabbage, cored and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or additional oil)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of good chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 bunch of red chard
  • 1 large handful of parsley leaves, chopped (measured before chopping)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or mint, or more to taste (optional)
  • 2 -3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, or more to taste
  • Juice and zest of one Meyer lemon
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap the beets tightly in a foil packet, then roast the beets in the packet in a shallow baking dish just until tender when pierced with a knife (about 35 – 40 minutes). Allow them to cool, then peel and cut each into 8 pieces. Do this by cutting in half lengthwise (North Pole to South Pole), the cut each of the halves in half lengthwise, then cut each quarter in half crosswise. Or you can cut the beets into smaller dice, if they're large.
  2. Meanwhile, thoroughly wash and coarsely chop the beet greens and set aside. If the stems are thick, cut and chop them separately, as it takes longer for them to cook.
  3. In a large skillet with a cover, sauté the onion over medium heat in one tablespoon of the oil, with the bay leaves and a small pinch of salt, for about two minutes.
  4. Add the chopped cabbage and butter or additional oil and continue to cook, stirring, for another 2 – 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ¼ cup of the stock, stir well, and cover.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook, covered, for about fifteen minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. (If it feels like the vegetables are drying out, check and add a few tablespoons of water, if they are. Otherwise, don’t remove the lid.)
  6. Remove the hard stems from the chard and cut the stems into ½ inch pieces. Put them in the pan with the onions and cabbage, along with the stems from the beet greens. Stir well, cover and cook for three or four minutes.
  7. Lift the lid, then add the beet greens. (If your beet greens seems a bit tough, add them at the same time that you add the chard and beet stems.)
  8. Coarsely chop the chard leaves and add to the pan with the remaining chicken stock and another small pinch of salt. Stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  9. Add the diced beets, the dill or mint, if using, and the parsley and stir well. Cook over medium heat, continuing to stir, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  10. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the vinegar and toss well to combine.
  11. Allow to sit for at least ½ hour before serving. Immediately before serving, remove the bay leaves, add the lemon juice and zest, and toss to combine. Test for salt, correct if necessary, and add pepper to taste.
  12. Serve at room temperature, or warm, to taste. I usually pass a cruet of vinegar with dishes like this, for those --- like me --who like such dishes a bit sharper.
  13. Enjoy!! ;o)
  14. N.B. It’s even better if you let this sit for 4 to 6 hours before eating.
  15. Also, don't worry if the cabbage, after its initial cooking, looks a bit pale and blue. That just happens when red cabbage meets water. It will brighten right up once it's joined by the beets and red chard. ;o)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • gingerroot
  • student epicure
    student epicure
  • Bevi
  • hardlikearmour

Recipe by: AntoniaJames

See problem, solve problem. Ask questions; question answers. Disrupt, with kindness, courtesy and respect. ;o)

9 Reviews

russeaime February 5, 2020
Really enjoyed this! I had a hodgepodge of random things in the fridge that needed to be eaten ASAP and this was the perfect recipe. I didn't have any chard, so just upped the cabbage and added radish greens in addition to the beet greens. I also used golden beets and white wine instead of the chicken broth. Definitely keeping this in the midweek winter side rotation.
AntoniaJames January 30, 2015
Thank you for your comment, Katie. I use golden beets more and more these for precisely that reason! The vivid magenta dressing can be just a bit too much. Good idea using green cabbage, too, as the red can easily turn a pale purple if not handled with great care while cooking, which one doesn't notice with the bright red beets. What other changes did you make? Do tell!! ;o)
Katie H. January 30, 2015
Made a quite a few changes to this recipe but stuck to the same techniques and types of ingredients. I used golden beets and green cabbage instead of their red counterparts. It turned out flavorful and NOT PINK, which gave a softer look to the plate.
gingerroot September 8, 2011
Love this, AJ!
student E. August 28, 2011
this looks wonderful! bright, hearty, and delicious!
Bevi March 3, 2011
I love the simple seasonings, and the fact that these ingredients are almost always in my fridge. Thanks, AJ!
AntoniaJames March 3, 2011
Thanks, Bevi. Actually, I keep asking myself if it needs some herbs, other than parsley and bay leaf, and I always cconclude that there is so much flavor in the braised cabbage, greens and beets, that the usual aromatics and parsley are sufficient. A flavorful stock does make a difference, though. I do hope you try this! Doing errands in a cold rain last night, I was thinking about making this into soup, with a good Russian black bread (recipe to be posted before too long . . . I have developed one with a surprise ingredient, so stay tuned.) ;o)
hardlikearmour March 2, 2011
Love the color, AJ!
AntoniaJames March 2, 2011
Thanks! Mr T thinks this recipe should be called "Red over Green." He really, really likes this dish. I'm thinking about making it into soup next time, with some salty pork product included, most likely. ;o)