Harvard Beets

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From The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins these are one of America’s favorite ways to eat beets. I have used this recipe so many times the book just falls open to it. Besides our Thanksgiving meal we also have this as part of our Christmas feast.

Although both Harvard and Yale lay claim to having created Harvard beets the authors prefer the story about them being devised in the seventeenth century in an English tavern called Harwood. One of its customers, a Russian, emigrated to Boston, opened a restaurant, and mispronounced the tavern’s name when he put beets on the menu.

The light dressing of vinegar and orange juice emphasizes that entire deeply rooted flavor nicely.

  • 2 pounds Beets, well rinsed or
  • 2 large cans of Sliced Beets
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 5 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh Orange Juice
  • 2 Tsp Cornstarch
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted Butter
  • Grated Zest of 2 Oranges

Place the beets in a large size saucepan, (less red splash all over the place if you use a large pot), cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Slip off the skins, and cut the beets into 1/4 inch dice or slice them. You should have 4 cups. Set them aside.
Alternately you can heat the canned beets in their liquid.

Combine the sugar, vinegar, orange juice, cornstarch, and salt and pepper in a heavy saucepan. Whisk well and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly until mixture is clear and thickened. 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the butter and zest and cook just until the butter has melted.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour sauce over the beets. Toss gently. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Serves 4 – 6 portions.
*For our group because everyone loves these beets we quadruple the recipe.

About Pat Tate

Always a very busy person Pat has been interested in cooking and collecting recipes. In an effort to sort out a mound of favorite recipes and to be able to pass them on to the next generation she started this site Family, Foods, and Friends. Again she invites people to join her and to share their cooking adventures.

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