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close up of sautéed beets in brown butter with tarragon

Beets Sautéed In A Lovely Tarragon Brown Butter Sauce

Sugar beets in brown butter sauce will delight that dinner guest with the advanced palette and really all fresh food connoisseurs alike.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Keyword: beets, brown butter, Easter menu, easy, herbs, tarragon
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 331kcal
Cost: $0.29

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  • 4 quart pot
  • Sauté pan


Adapted from Saveur Magazine, October 2008

    Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 8 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy. 

      Ingredients for Beets Sautéed In A Lovely Tarragon Brown Butter Sauce

      • 24 medium beets fresh, about 2-to-3-inches diameter each
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
      • 2 tablespoons tarragon fresh, finely chopped
      • 1 tablespoon mint fresh, finely chopped
      • 2 tablespoons whole tarragon leaves fresh, torn from the stem
      • 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon Kosher salt begin with 1/2 teaspoon and taste for desired amount of salt; salt may be added at the end as a finishing salt as well
      • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


      The Method

        prepare the beets

        • Trim beets leaving 2" of stalks. Place beets into a large pot and cover with water. Add salt.
        • Boil the beets until they are soft, around 50 to 60 minutes depending on the diameter of your beets. Beets may be tested for doneness by sticking a sharp knife in the side and the knife easily pulls away.
        • Drain the beets. Allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes or until safe to handle. Pull off stalks and use your fingers to rub and slip off skins. Cut each beet in halve, larger beets into quarters.

        brown the butter

        • In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Watch closely and stir often.
        • To the brown butter, add the chopped tarragon, chopped mint, and 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Use a rubber spatula to constantly move the butter around the pan over medium heat until salt is dissolved. Add the beets.
        • Maintain medium heat while moving the beets and gently turning to allow all surfaces to become coated with the butter and herbs. Continue until warmed through, about 4 to 6 minutes. Taste for salt. Make any salt additions before removing from the heat.
        • Once sauté pan is removed from the heat, add the whole tarragon leaves and the cracked pepper. Give the pan a toss and remove all to a serving bowl.


        Mint, sage, and dill are able to be substituted in part or in whole in this dish. 
        If serving as an appetizer over toasted baguette rounds or lavosh, see my recipe for Whipped Ricotta to accompany. Makes for a visually stunning presentation when served on a rustic bread board.


        Serving: 1serving | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 838mg | Potassium: 1772mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 692IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 5mg

        Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.