Home | Recipes

Harvard Beets

If you're at all like we are, there is a tendency to buy and fix the same few veggies over and over. Beets are something we don't eat very often, but this is a treat.

The only recipes that I could find online for Harvard Beets called for canned beets - I use "real" beets fresh from the produce department and in this case red ones slightly larger than golf balls. This is an adaptation from a combination of three recipes I found online.


  • Two bunches of red beets, tops cut off (save the greens for another meal!) - about 8 beets

  • Water


  • 1 Tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • Pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup vinegar

  • 2/3 cup reserved cooking liquid from beets

  • 2 Tablespoons butter



Place beets in a 3-quart saucepan with water covering them by 1/2-1 inch. Cover and bring to a boil; turn heat down slightly and let the beets simmer until cooked but not mushy - about 20-25 minutes. Remove the beets, saving the cooking liquid. Remove outer peel from beets under running water with a paring knife; it's much easier to do this after they have cooked rather than before! Slice the beets in 1/4-inch slices.

In a saucepan or deep non-stick frying pan, stir together the cornstarch, sugar, salt and pepper. Add the vinegar and reserved cooking liquid from the beets, stir to completely incorporate the dry ingredients (I use a gravy whisk). Cook and stir constantly until the mixture is boiling and beginning to thicken. Boil gently and stir for one minute, then add the beets along with the butter; heat through before serving.

(Since beets will stain anything they come in contact with, be careful!) 


Makes 3-4 servings

Dorothy & Jay Harris - Copyright 2004-2010