By Emma Haberman | July 20, 2011

Photo: Emma Haberman

You know what they say: when life gives you beets, make beet fries. This is the situation I found myself in last week

when I became the recipient of a friend’s CSA delivery while he was out of town. Among my new treasures were beets and kohlrabi, two ingredients I’ve never cooked with or, in the case of kohlrabi, never seen before.

Kohlrabi is a relative of cabbages (“kohl” is German for cabbage, “rabi” for turnip) and, even though it looks like something from “Little Shop of Horrors”, it smells and tastes like a combination of jicama and radish. I thought the slight spiciness would pair well with the sweet beets, and threw in some yams for good measure and color. Besides being tasty, yams are rich in beta carotene and potassium, much more nutritious than their pale potato cousins. Simply cutting them into fries and roasting them made for a quick, healthy and delicious twist on classic steak frites.

Photo: Emma Haberman

Beet greens, I discovered, are easy to work with and are a great source of iron. They are more like swiss chard in texture, but sauteed easily with the spinach and added a bit of depth to the dish. Using the greens ensures that no part of the beet goes to waste.

On its own, flank steak doesn’t have a ton of flavor and can be a little tough. This makes it excellent for braising, broiling and slow-marinating. For this steak, I used my favorite combination of mustard and Worchestershire sauce with rosemary and, as always, garlic. The marinade helps tenderize the beef and adds a little punch to the meal.

So next time your ingredients have you at a loss, don’t panic – fries are on your side.

Photo: Emma Haberman

Steak with Yam, Kohlrabi, and Beet Frites Recipe

Servings: 4


For Steak:
  • 1 lb flank steak, about 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 sprigs chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
For Spinach and Beet Greens:
  • 2 lbs spinach, stems removed
  • Greens from 2 beets, red stems trimmed
  • 2 tomatoes, cut wedges
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
For Frites:
  • 1 kohlrabi bulb
  • 2 beets
  • 1 yam
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika


To Make Steak:

1. Salt and pepper both sides of the steak well. In a 13x9 inch glass or ceramic baking dish, whisk together the olive oil, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary and garlic.

2. Add steak, turn to coat. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized skillet and cook steak for 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest for five minutes, slice thin on a diagonal and serve on top of spinach and beet greens.

To Make Spinach and Beet Greens:

Melt butter in a saute pan. Add in spinach and beet greens, salt and pepper, and toss on heat until just wilted.
Put in serving dish, top with shallots and surround with tomatoes. Squeeze lemon juice over greens and top with sliced steak.

To Make Frites:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Peel vegetables and cut into 1/4 inch thick matchsticks. These veggies can be tough to cut, but do your best to cut them evenly. Toss in a bowl to coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.

2, Arrange flat on a baking sheet and bake until the fries begin to brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.

3. Remove, top generously with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of paprika and serve alongside steak.

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