Harvard versus Yale

That great rivalry, Harvard versus Yale. Even though this rivalry is more pronounced in football, they have met on the baseball diamond more often, starting back in 1867. In 1875, these two teams met on the football field for the first time, and since then it has always been referred to as The Game. There seems to have been a rivalry in the kitchen as well. Did you know that Harvard Beets, that creamy, deliciously sweet and sour side dish was pitted against Yale Beets? Harvard Beets have stood the test of time because of its’ offset tang, whereas Yale Beets, were just plain sweet.
Here, I will give you both recipes, done over in The Yankee Chefs style, and you tell me which you prefer.

Yanked Harvard Beets
Want to use fresh beets instead of canned? Follow instructions below.

2 cups (13 ounce can) sliced beets in water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 t. lime juice, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground cloves
2 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 strips pepper bacon, cooked and crumbled

Drain and reserve beet juice. In medium saucepan combine cornstarch and sugar, add beet juice, vinegar, lime juice and salt. Bring to a boil over med.-high heat until thickened and smooth; stirring almost constantly. Reduce heat to low and add sliced beets, stirring gently until beets are warmed through, adding the butter at the last minute, stirring in completely. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

Makes 4-6 servings

Yale Beets
Follow recipe for Harvard Beets but substitute ¼ c. orange juice for the vinegar. Sprinkle grated orange or tangerine zest on top instead of bacon.


If using fresh beets, cut off the tops and rinse about 3 beets that are 3-4 inches in diameter. Place the beets in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 4 inches. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until the beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the liquid. Slip the skin off the cooked beets by rubbing them under cold water. Leave very small beets whole, slice larger beets.