For ages now, I've been meaning to make Harvard Beets. When A Veggie Venture first launched in April 2005 and I was looking for ideas, my Auntie Meryl suggested them. And back in June, a commenter on Swedish Beets reminded me. Thank you both, they're delicious!
Harvard Beets are a simple, classic treatment for already-cooked beets, apparently first published in the Fannie Farmer cookbook. That said, I haven't yet tried her classic treatment, which calls for using the water in which the beets are cooked to make the sauce. That, I shall yet try.
But Harvard Beets are also good enough reason TO cook some beets. How do you cook beets? Well, you can cook beets in water. Or you can roast beets. Or you can grate beets for pan-fried patties. Or ... I could go on and on but just check here for lots of beet recipes. I may be the veggie evangelist but am also a certified Beet Queen. ;-)
RECIPE for HARVARD BEETS
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 8 in small servings, 4 in larger servings
(enough for 6 cups beets so you might consider doing half)
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional, see KITCHEN NOTES)
3 cups cooked beets, peeled and diced (from 3 medium- to large-size beets)
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional garnish: orange zest, chopped chive, chopped dill
In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. (Be sure to work out any cornstarch lumps.) Slowly stir in the orange juice and vinegar, working out any lumps that appear. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter if using. Toss with diced beets. Season to taste. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish. Serve at room temperature.
I accidentally left out the specified butter but didn't miss it. Happy accident!
The beets are rich and full of sweetness and flavor. A small serving feels like plenty so I'm providing nutrition information for both small and large servings.
All this is a good lesson in the usefulness of a nutrition analysis program. (I use a program called Accuchef). I omitted the butter, of course. But even afterward, by adjusting portion size and sauce quantity, the point range varies from zero to two points.
Next time, I'll garnish with grated orange peel or bits of chopped chive or dill.
MORE FAVORITE BEET RECIPES
~ Swedish Beets ~
~ Greens 'n' All Beet Soup ~
~ Baked Beets ~
~ more beet recipes ~