The târte al djote is a specialty of the Walloon town of Nivelles. The primary ingredients are Swiss chard, la bètchéye, a special fermented cows cheese produced in the area, and butter. Lots of butter. It’s served piping hot, with a plate of salted butter on the side and should be accompanied by a Jean de Nivelles. One might think a dish containing so many leafy greens would be healthy, but the layer of butterfat that floats on top hints otherwise. Don’t be put off by that! This is comfort food, and it’s truly delicious.

If you’re tempted to try it, you’ll have to make the trip to Nivelles. It’s not found anywhere else in Belgium. The târtes are sold in the town’s restaurants and bakeries which have passed annual taste testing by the confrérie de la târte al djote. This group serves to protect and promote this culinary specialty, which is thought to date back to as early as the year 1218. So if you find yourself in Nivelles, be sure to look for their label, which will tell you how they rate each establishment’s târtes.

For more information, as well as a recipe (en français), you can consult the confrérie’s website:

**For more photos, check out Bela Lumo’s Facebook page! I’m regularly updating the albums there. And as usual, please contact me directly if you’re interested in using my photos or purchasing any prints. Thanks!** 

2 thoughts on “Belgian comfort food – The târte al djote

  1. Amy

    Looks delicious! It does always amaze me how butter and olive oil can make almost anything better. I love the shot with the beer right beside it – the OTHER Belgian comfort food (well drink).


  2. Mathieu

    One of the best dish you can have in Belgium! And the craziest is that a lot of them never tried it or even know it. Tasting it is a good opportunity to visit the really nice ‘grand place’ of Nivelles and a really nice region of Belgium.
    It is a good example showing how belgians can be dedicated to their culture with their ‘confrérie’ too. Anything special has a specific ‘confrérie’. I wonder if they offered a costume to the Manneken-Pis…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *