Fall is just around the corner! And after fresh, juicy vegetables all Summer long, it’s that delicious time of the year to relish in all kinds of root vegetables… and today’s recipe is all about beets! In this Fall-perfect dish, beets are braised in white wine until sweet and tender, mingled with chopped kale, goat cheese and crusty bread.
It is a simple, unfussy side-dish or light dinner, and it’s a wonderfully different way to enjoy beets.
A dish inspired by the “Betteraves à la Poitevine”
The inspiration for this recipe comes from the “Betteraves à la Poitevine”. This traditional dish hailing from Poitou, in west-central France, is utterly famous in France. It features beet slices cooked in an onion roux and then deglazed in wine vinegar. You’ll often find them accompanying rice, potatoes and meats.
My version of it is a little earthier, with the beets sauteed in a garlic and onion roux, deglazed in both white wine and wine vinegar, and finally completed with chopped kale. I also suggest you enjoy it with a side of crusty bread and goat cheese, which is a perfect pairing with beets.
How to make these Poitou-Style Braised Beets with Kale
The recipe starts by washing, peeling and slicing the beets. You should wear gloves for this step, or your hands will be purple and stained for days.
You then wash, drain and remove the ribs from the kale and chop it coarsely. When in season, you can substitute the kale with fresh spinach, Tuscan kale or even Swiss Chard. Any kind of leafy green will work great in here, and bring a perfect bitterness to this dish.
The recipe continues with building a roux in a large pan (ensure that this pan has a lid you can use with it). Caramelized onions, garlic, flour and butter are cooked until golden. Beet slices are then added and de-glazed in white wine and wine vinegar.
With the lid on, beets are slowly braised in the liquid until tender. For this step, use a pointy knife to test the tenderness of the beets – I’ll let you decide how you like your beets: slightly tender to utterly tender. Finally, the chopped kale is added, and stirred until wilted.
My Cooking tips:
- You can opt for red beets, yellow beets or a mix. Make sure you wear gloves (ie.plastic or latex gloves) when peeling the beets or your hands will be stained for days.
- I love the earthiness and texture of kale in this dish, but you can substitute them for in-season fresh spinach, Tuscan kale or Swiss chard leaves (all ribs removed and leaves chopped).
- For the goat cheese, choose a good Bûcheron if you can or an unripened goat cheese such as this one from Soignon, which is widely available in grocery stores in the US/Canada.
I hope you’ll love these Poitou-Style Braised Beets with Kale. They make for a great side to accompany poultry or pork, or a great dinner on their own served alongside goat cheese with crusty bread.
You may also like:
- French Lentil Soup
- Provence-Style Tomatoes with breadcrumbs
- Eggplant Toasts with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
4 large beets (or 5-6 medium)
½ bunch kale
3 tbsp (43g) butter (salted or unsalted)
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and diced
2 tbsp (17g) all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
3 tbsp (45ml) dry white wine
1 tbsp (15ml) wine vinegar
1 tbsp (15ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Bread and ripened soft goat cheese, for serving
Make sure you read the cooking notes before you start.
Step 1 – Prepare the vegetables. Wash, scrub and peel the beets; remove the greens and cut the beets into 1/4-inch thick slices. Wash and drain the kale; remove the ribs and coarsely chop the leaves.
Step 2 – In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is foamy, add the garlic and onion and cook until softened, for about 4-5 minutes. Add the flour, salt, ground black pepper and nutmeg, and cook for 1 minute to make a roux (the flour will turn moist and golden in color).
Step 3 – Add the beets, white wine and vinegar and stir until the flour is fully incorporated into the liquid. Reduce the heat and sauté, flipping the beet slices occasionally until the beets become tender, about 20-25 minutes (with a lid on). If the beets become too dry while cooking, you can add another 2-3 tbsp (45ml) of white wine (or water) if necessary.
Step 4 – When the beet slices are tender enough (you can test the tenderness by inserting a pointy knife), add the chopped kale and cook for about 2-3 minutes (lid off) until the kale is wilted and has absorbed the last of the moisture in the pan. Adjust seasoning if needed.
Step 5 – Transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with EVOO. Serve as a side, or enjoy with bread and slices of goat cheese.
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a comment below, rate the recipe and/or share a photo on Instagram: tag @pardonyourfrench and hashtag it #pardonyourfrench. Bon Appetit!