12 Tasty Side Dishes for your Borsch
Borscht is an earthy, tangy soup with Ukrainian roots, well-loved not just in Eastern Europe but embraced by kitchens around the globe. From classic rye bread to surprising twists like gluten-free choices, we've compiled a list of 12 tasty sides that elevate your borscht’s flavor.
The Essence of Borscht
Originating from Ukraine, borscht is a culinary treasure acknowledged by UNESCO as part of Ukraine's cultural heritage. Its primary ingredient, beets, lends the soup a vibrant red color and a unique blend of sweet and sour tastes.
Borscht fits into any meal setting, whether you like it hot with beef or cold with a dollop of sour cream. This soup, full of veggies like cabbage, potatoes, and sometimes fish or meat, can be the star of any meal. And like any particular dish, it often shines brightest with suitable side dishes to back it up.
What can you serve with borscht?
You can serve borscht with sides like Pumpernickel or rye bread, garlic toast, meat, salads, dairy, pickled foods, pierogi, grains, potato pancakes, mashed potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, deviled eggs seasoned with paprika or dill, gluten-free options, and accompany it with fermented Slavic beverages and Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc wine.
Let's dive in and explore these mouth-watering side dishes for your borscht.
Serve borscht with bread
The relationship between bread and borscht is a long-standing culinary tradition. The bread serves as the ideal complement, enriching the dish and providing balance.
- Pumpernickel or rye bread: Pumpernickel and rye's darker, dense texture makes them suitable for absorbing the soup's flavors. The tanginess of rye, in particular, can parallel the sour undertones in many variations of borscht.
- Garlic toast: Another suitable accompaniment is garlic toast. The garlic's strong flavor aligns well with borscht’s unique sweet and sour flavor. The toast provides a contrasting texture, adding a crunch that many find satisfying.
Meat Options with Borscht
Adding meat to your borscht meal can offer a delicious contrast and additional protein to the already hearty dish. Smoked sausage like Kielbasa Ring offers a savory twist, while beef stew doubles down on the comfort factor. Poultry like grilled chicken or turkey can seamlessly blend well with borscht's unique flavors.
Salads that Go Well with Borscht
A bowl of borscht is satisfying, yet a light salad can make it even better. Enhance your borscht experience with our carefully curated salads like the Peach Salad featuring summer peaches and honey vinaigrette or the Lentil Salad topped with feta and a drizzle of creamy dill vinaigrette. If you're looking to stay on theme, our Ukrainian Beet & Horseradish Salad makes a perfect companion, echoing borscht's key ingredient. These salad options complement the soup's heartiness and make for a satisfying dining experience.
Dairy Add-ons for Borscht
Sour cream is almost synonymous with borscht, offering a creamy tang that enhances the soup's flavors. But it's not the only dairy delight that works. Cheese can provide a tangy contrast when sprinkled on top, while thick yogurt is an excellent alternative to sour cream. These dairy options enrich the borscht and add layers of texture and flavor to your meal.
Pickles and Ferments with Borscht
Borscht and tangy, pickled foods make an excellent match. Consider adding classic dill pickles or sauerkraut to your meal for that extra flavor acidity balances out the richness of the borscht, rounding off your dining experience with a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures.
Pierogi as a Borscht Side
For a genuinely Eastern European experience, elevate your borscht meal by adding our Cheese Pierogi and Potato Pierogi. These traditional pierogi are excellent companions to the soup, creating a comforting and culturally rich meal.
Grains to Serve Alongside Borscht
For a tasty meal, consider grains such as buckwheat kasha, barley, or even quinoa as a side. The earthy undertones of buckwheat kasha work wonderfully to bring out the flavors of our borscht. Similarly, barley and quinoa add substance to your meal and harmonize with borscht's unique blend of sweet and sour elements. These grains deepen the culinary experience, making each spoonful of borscht even more enjoyable.
Serve Borscht with Different Potato Dishes
The humble potato can be a dynamic side for borscht, appearing in multiple forms. Whether it's the soft interior of a baked potato, the texture of our Potato Pancakes that offer a delightful crispness, or the smooth creaminess of mashed potatoes, each variant allows borscht's intricate flavors to shine through.
Eggs to Add to Your Borscht Meal
Adding eggs to your borscht meal can add protein and a different texture to your dining experience. Sliced and added to the bowl, hard-boiled eggs can lend a firm bite that contrasts nicely with the soup's softer components. If you want something more adventurous, deviled eggs spiced with paprika or dill can offer a flavorful twist. In their various forms, eggs can subtly enhance the rich tapestry of tastes that borscht already brings to the table.
Beverages that Complement Borscht
When it comes to beverages that complement borscht, the spectrum is quite broad.
- Traditional taste: For a deeply authentic pairing, we recommend Kvass. This fermented Slavic beverage reflects the sour undertones of borscht, creating a harmonious balance between the soup and the drink.
- Wine lovers: If you're a wine enthusiast, a light white wine like our Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc offers a refreshing contrast. Its crispness helps cut through the borscht's rich flavors, creating a balanced and delightful dining experience.
Whether you lean toward the traditional or the sophisticated, we have the perfect drink at Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant, to elevate your borscht dining experience.
Gluten-free Choices with Borscht
Stepping away from gluten does not mean stepping down in flavor or satisfaction when indulging in a bowl of borscht. Regarding grains, consider our Buckwheat Kasha, a nutritious grain that brings complex flavor to your table. If you prefer a protein-focused side, Veselka’s Marinated Chicken Breast is a gluten-free alternative that enriches the meal without overwhelming the palate.
On the lighter side, their Lentil Salad offers a blend of feta, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, and carrots and serves as an excellent companion. Adding these sides not only accommodates dietary restrictions but also elevates the meal, making it both inclusive and delicious.
There you have it, food lovers—your ultimate guide on what to serve with borscht. From humble breads and luxurious meats to palate-cleansing salads and beverages that make your soul sing, we hope this list fuels your love for Ukrainian cuisine. May your borscht be hearty, your company delightful, and your table a testament to the joy of culinary exploration.