You know nobody asked me out until I was a senior in high school, and even then it was the preacher’s son who lived out of state. I was a little crazy looking on the outside but if they had had the patience, they would have realized that they weren’t going to find better when it came to eating dinner. I didn’t really start cooking until a little later.
Beets are a prize. Says me. Not all goodness is evident on the stand, and if I looked at a beet and didn’t know what it was, I would think why waste your time to pull it out of the ground? You could miss a lot with that kind of thinking. Get your gloves on, pick out the tiniest ones you can find, and if they have them, grab the gold ones or the candy canes (pink and white striped) as well as the classic deep purple. Scrub them in a sink full of water, and then cut the greens off (you can blanch these and then saute them with garlic and olive oil). You can cut the root off as well, but if you do find the tiny beets, you don’t have to. Cut the beets in half, and toss them with kosher salt and your best olive oil.
(I’m going to tell my favorite oil: La Macchia. Only available at Fairway Market in NYC. Worth the trip to NYC)
Spread them out on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for about half an hour. Uncover and bake until tender, about another fifteen minutes. When they are cool serve them with toasted walnuts, chunks of gorgonzola, tiny roasted potatoes and baby arugula leaves. Spritz on some lemon juice, some long fresh chive, and another drizzle of oil.