If you’ve ever tried rich, smooth foie gras, you probably understand why it’s become such a luxurious food.
French for “fatty liver,” foie gras is made by gently force-feeding ducks or geese to fatten their livers; in artisanal production, this process occurs over ten days, while factory farms can make the same product in less than a week.
As it’s the liver, it’s rich in lipids and contains high-quality protein and minerals, including iron.
When you see foie gras, you may think of it as a delicacy or luxury food.
While it is luxurious in terms of its price, no one can deny that the taste and texture make this gourmet dish deservedly so.
There are many ways to prepare foie gras; roasting, sauteing, or searing are the three best methods.
Many people prefer to preserve the traditional flavor pairing with seared foie gras served with fruity sauces, caramelized figs, or fresh berries.
Because of its richness, foie gras is typically served in small portions, making it a luxury when it comes to how much you eat at one time.
However, its smooth texture and buttery flavor are bound to leave your guests feeling satisfied after every bite.
In this article, we’ll share some of the best side dishes to help you make sure your foie gras culinary experience is a memorable one.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Foie Gras?
Foie Gras is a popular French dish made from fattened goose or duck liver.
It is a delicacy and can be served as an entire meal or a starter to a meal.
As it is rich and can be quite heavy, it may be best to serve alongside something lighter to balance the whole meal.
Here are some suggestions for side dishes for foie gras.
Another reason to serve side dishes with foie gras is that it makes it easier to eat.
When served with a starter, foie gras may be too rich to eat on its own.
Preceding it with lighter side dishes allows for digestion and helps you overcome the richness of the main dish before returning to eating your foie gras.
In addition to this, it can be helpful to serve side dishes with foie gras if the main dish is particularly heavy.
A good example of this is steak and chips – both foods are quite hearty and can feel like a lot to eat in one sitting.
By serving them alongside another side dish, such as vegetables or salad, you can help create a more balanced meal and enjoyable to eat.
What to Serve with Foie Gras? 8 BEST Side Dishes
Many side dishes are good with foie gras, but choosing ones that will complement the main dish is important.
Here are eight suggestions of some great balance-inducing side dishes for your foie gras meal.
1 – Quail Eggs on Toast
This is a classic French dish that works well alongside most main courses, especially poultry persuasion.
The eggs are soft and moist, with a slightly nutty aftertaste.
They’re easy to prepare but delicious to eat.
Quail eggs on toast are also incredibly versatile: you can serve it as an appetizer or entrée/main meal accompaniment.
It’s up to you.
It pairs well with all kinds of meats, including chicken breast, buttock of veal, or pork loin.
It’s also great with salmon, trout, and other oily fish.
2 – Broccoli Rabe with Garlic & Chilies
Rabe is a leafy green vegetable that looks like spinach but has a bitter taste to it instead.
It’s a great side dish for all kinds of poultry and fish but works best with the liver because its strong flavor can handle the intensity of fattened foie gras.
This dish also has two elements to it: the rabe and the garlic and chili flakes combination.
The former is quite sweet, while the latter is savory and spicy.
Together, they add a lot of flavor to this vegetable dish.
You can substitute rabe for broccoli or another leafy green vegetable.
3 – Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Onions
Mashed potatoes are an excellent side dish for any meat or fish recipe you’re making, not just foie gras.
They pair perfectly with poultry, game birds, and fish.
This dish can be served hot or cold, depending on the season.
And you don’t even need to bother peeling potatoes.
Just break them up by hand directly in your pot after boiling, then mash with butter using a fork, whisk, or masher.
The skin adds extra flavor, so there is no need to peel them.
Remember to buy the right potatoes, though: starchy potatoes such as Russet and Yukon Gold work well with this dish because they can absorb butter and cream easily.
You don’t want waxy potatoes, such as Red Potatoes or new potatoes, for this recipe because they won’t mash up easily.
4 – Brioche
This is a bread that has a very light texture but lots of flavors.
It can be served warm or cold according to the occasion.
It complements both poultry and game birds, so it works well alongside foie gras.
You can find brioche in almost every bakery these days.
This recipe also shows how easy it is to cook with foie gras: throw it on top of the brioche and put it in the oven.
5 – Spinach with Garlic & Pine Nuts
Spinach is a wonderful vegetable that can be eaten hot or cold, usually as a side dish.
It’s popular all over the world because of its versatility and health benefits.
Spinach with garlic and pine nuts is a light dish with fish, chicken breasts, and duck confit.
In particular, it matches up perfectly with fatty fish such as tuna or trout because the flavors of both ingredients complement each other nicely.
You can make the sauce separately and serve it as a dip for bread, or you can make everything together in one pan.
It’s up to you.
6 – Roast Cauliflower with Chili Paste
Cauliflower is a vegetable that pairs well with just about anything.
Just roast it in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then serve it as a side dish.
This veggie has a mild taste and creamy texture, so it complements other flavors very nicely.
Cauliflower goes well with poultry such as chicken breast, duck legs, or seared duck foie gras because it can absorb any flavor you put on it.
It’s also delicious with small whole fish such as Grondin, snapper, or bream because the fish flavor goes nicely with cauliflower.
7 – Light Green Salad
When most people think of salads, they think of lettuce with tomatoes and some bacon bits.
But there’s so much more you can do to serve a salad.
The ingredients in this recipe are very light, so the crunchy texture of the leaves is emphasized.
The sauce also complements pumpkin seeds for added crunch.
And the pomegranate seeds add a burst of flavor to the dish.
This salad goes very well with all kinds of poultry, especially duck breast and foie gras.
It also goes nicely with fish, mussels, or oysters because the ingredients complement each other.
8 – Soft White Wine
White wine is a great accompaniment to any poultry, especially duck and goose.
It goes very nicely with foie gras because the flavor is delicate and soft and doesn’t overpower the taste of the liver.
This recipe recommends serving it with pumpkin seeds on top for added crunch.
Dessert wine such as Muscat pairs well with a wide variety of dishes, including poultry, fatty fish, and meat.
It’s very popular in the Mediterranean, where it is served as a festive drink or appetizer at weddings, baptisms, or other celebrations.
Remember that wines with high acidities, such as Gruner Veltliner, taste good when paired with foie gras because they are strong enough to hold their own against the flavor of liver.
Foie gras is a rich, fatty food that must be served with light flavors to balance the dish.
There are plenty of side dishes you can serve with foie gras, including potato puree, brioche, spinach, and pine nuts, cauliflower with chili paste and pumpkin seeds, or soft white wine.
Try out each recipe or come up with your creation.
The possibilities are endless, so there’s something for everyone.