No one knows for sure where this recipe – or its name – originated; whether from a town called Harward (later mispronounced to Harvard) or to the College. Either way, it is a delicious side dish that adds color, flavor and a host of vitamins to our dinner plates.
The sweet & sour mixture also is pleasing and goes with most everything. (Watch out, however. That beautiful purple of the beets does stain a lovely reddish-purple on fingers and linens! In fact, beet juice was used for dying back in the day.)
Quick and easy to fix, Harvard Beets are one of my favorites!
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 14 c cornstarch
- 1/4 c white or fruit-flavored vinegar (not wine or balsamic vinegars)
- 1 c beet cooking juice (or water) **
- 2 c sliced or cubed, cooked beets
- 4 tsp. butter
Combine sugar, cornstarch, vinegar and liquid in saucepan. Over low heat, stir until thickened and smooth. Add cooked beets and butter and heat thoroughly.
Serve hot with fish, meat or poultry
** If using fresh beets, remove greens, scrub well, and cook in lightly salted water to cover until fork tender. Remove from water and reserve cooking water.
When beets are cool enough to handle, peel, then slice or cube. Proceed as above.
If using canned beets, use beet juice adding water (if needed) to make 1 cup.