Beets and goat cheese or feta sound like a natural or obvious pairing to me, but many people have recommended beets and butter to me. I finally tried it, and I see what all the fuss is about! The natural sweetness and earthiness of beets are nicely mellowed by a creamy addition. If you think you don’t like beets, I really recommend you try a creamy preparation and see what you think. Risotto or pizza would be a great start, just keep an open mind! This is a simple and straightforward dish, the butter adds richness, and the beets and carrots become a bit stew like. Serve with rice or egg noodles for a complete meal.
Prepare this with or without the beet greens. The greens cook down a lot and aren’t a necessary ingredient, but if you have them it’s a great way to use them up. Peel the beets and roughly chop. It’s a messy, but if you wash your hands and the cutting board right after things shouldn’t be too stained. I like to leave the carrots unpeeled in dishes like this, but if you prefer you can peel them.
Leave the garlic in slices instead of minced, and gently cook them in the melted butter being careful not to brown the butter or garlic. Add the beets and carrots, if using the stems and greens they have a lower cooking time and will get added later.
One half cup of water is enough liquid to cook down the vegetables, and it will thicken up to make this dish slightly stew like. At this point cover, and simmer. If you’re using the beet stems and greens add them about halfway through cooking. If you’re beets are topped, try adding kale or swiss chard instead.
A great seasoning for this dish is fresh or dried dill if you have it. If not, salt and pepper will be enough. Check the beets and make sure they’re nice and soft before serving, Add additional cooking time if necessary.
Butter Braised Beets and Carrots
2 – 3 tablespoons butter
3 cups beets, cut into large chunks
2 cups carrots, cut into large chunks
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dried dill or 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
optional: greens from one bunch of beets or swiss chard or kale
Melt butter over medium low heat, add garlic and gently cook being careful not to brown the butter or garlic. Add beets, carrots, and the water. Bring to a simmer then cook over low heat, covered for about 25 minutes depending on softness of beets.
If using greens, add stems after 15 minutes of cooking and add greens for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add greens on top of the beets and let steam, covered for five minutes. Stir beets into the greens and remove from heat.
Mix dried or fresh dill into beets and carrots. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm over egg noodles, rice, or with crusty bread for sopping up the beet juices.
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