A while back I accidentally accused my mother of trying to feed my sister and me pickled beets as children. She denies this heresy, though I still hold her accountable for the spinach souffle debacle. Also, for throwing away my favorite dress when I was three years old and lying about it for two decades.
Granted, she did make me the dress (and the matching one for my Cabbage Patch doll), and she cooked dinner for us almost every night, whether we liked it or not. Cookies, cakes, and pies were always homemade, and if we helped we got to lick the spoon. Later I was lucky enough to eat my way through Japan and Europe with my mom. We expanded our culinary horizons and brought new traditions home with us. Mom’s standard spaghetti sauce is less common in her house now than pasta alla Norma and insalata caprese. We are on an international quest for the world’s best tiramisu.
For Mother’s Day I can’t make my mom our traditional eggs Benedict or serve her breakfast in bed from 2500 miles away. She’ll have to make do with a recipe for beets. I think it will work out for a few reasons: first, it’s really good; second, you will love this cheese; and third, this happened when I was making the dish —
Love you, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day!
I didn’t send you a card, so I am posting this in your honor!
Thinly slice a shallot. Remove the stems from a bunch of chard (6-8 leaves) and the beet tops if you have them (I didn’t); chop the greens. Peel 4-6 beets. Freak out when you think the white one was actually a radish. Taste a slice and determine that it is, in fact, a beet. Slice beets into disks 1/4″ inch thick.
Heat some butter in a pan and add some thyme. Saute the shallot, then add the beets. Let them caramelize for about 15 minutes.
Add greens and saute another 5 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of wine and cover the pan.
The dish is done when the beets are tender and the greens are wilted and silky. If the greens start to look dry, add a little water and let the greens absorb it.
During that whole sequence, you should have been warming up some crusty bread and letting your Boucherondin cheese come to room temperature. Boucherondin tastes like the delicious love child of chevre and brie. It’s pretty amazing.
It took me two trips to Whole Foods to find some, but it should be with the goat cheeses. It’s tangy and creamy and goes really well with the beets. Garnish the plate with a wedge of it, grab a few slices of bread, and dig in. But save some for mom.
Sauteed Beets with Shallot and Greens
Adapted from food52
The original recipe calls for Muscadet wine. I used the pinot grigio that was open in my fridge and it was great. Use something you would want to drink.
4-6 medium beets, with greens if possible
1 bunch Swiss chard (6-8 leaves)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
2 tablespoon white wine
1.) Scrub beets well. Remove greens. Peel and slice beets into rounds 1/4-inch thick.
2.) Remove the ribs from the chard. Chop chard and beet greens.
3.) Peel and slice shallot. Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add thyme and stir until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add shallot. Stir until softened. Add beets and reduce heat. Saute about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
4.) When beets are starting to become tender, add beet greens and chard. Saute about 5 minutes; add wine and cover. Let greens wilt, adding a tablespoon or two of water if they start looking dry.
5.) Cook until liquid is mostly absorbed. Season with coarse salt and black pepper. Serve in shallow dishes with a wedge of room-temperature Boucherondin cheese and a piece of crusty bread.
Enjoy, if possible, with a glass of wine, and Mom.
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