I discovered I like beets. I had a fantastic little 'napoleon' that included beets, goat cheese, walnuts and something else.
So I bought 2 beets - what should I do with them???
I wrap my beets tightly in foil with salt and pepper. You can half them if they are large, but as long as they are relatively the same size I leave them whole. Then roast them (in their skins) in a 375-400 degree oven. Smaller beets for about 30 min. Large ones up to one hour. To me, they give of a certain beety smell when they are done. Carefully open foil packet and they will pierce easily when done. If not, wrap them back up and throw them back in the oven.
When they are done the skins slip right off the beets. Then the world is yours....make fridge pickles, recreate the napoleon that you referenced above (maybe add little walnut oil and balsamic vinegar), http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/101437...
this was yummy!! I tend to store my cooked beets in the fridge to add to salads during the week. I even eat them for breakfast mixed with greek yogurt or cottage (in place of fruit).
And, don't forget the greens. If they are fresh and beautiful you can cook them as you would swiss chard.
I roast my foil-wrapped beets in a hotter oven than you do (425-450), but find that it takes longer (30 minutes for very small ones, 45 minutes for small grocery store ones, up to 1.5 hours for the big ones).
I love beets and use them in many ways, but a favorite is lots of variations on beet salad. One nice thing about beets is that they taste better when they've been able to soak up dressing for a while, so it's a good make-ahead dish that only improves by sitting overnight. Toss your beets with one part lemon juice, two parts olive oil, a minced shallot/red onion/scallions, salt, pepper, and optional spices of your choosing (cumin and fennel seeds are two favorites.) Before serving, add a handful of chopped herb (parsley, mint, cilantro, basil, arugula/rocket, etc.), and possibly another sliced fruit or vegetable - some favorites of mine are raw fennel, peaches, pears (Asian or European), roasted or steamed carrots or sweet potatoes (can be added to the dressing with the beets rather than waiting until later), or orange segments.
Roast them as mentioned and serve with some roasted fennel, some orange segments, and a vinaigrette made with some orange juice.
Also, I love cold borscht. A very simple recipe for Lithuanian cold beet soup. It's just beets, kefir (or yogurt or buttermilk), cucumbers, chopped dill, chopped scallions, mixed together to make soup. You can find many recipes online for this.
Finally, I made this recipe for the first time about a month ago and I've made it twice since. It is absolutely delicious, especially if you like garlic:
Definitely roast them. And whatever you do, be careful when upwrapping them...they will be very hot (and messy!).
Off and on over the last few years, I have tried to like beets and failed, other than the braised beet greens which I made separately. But recently I made some that I do like, and they got better after a few days in the fridge.
I peeled and diced them raw, browned them in bacon fat, added onion, then braised them with red wine, pomegranate glaze, balsamic vinegar, TJ's 21 Seasoning Salute, and agave nectar. All cooked down to a thick glaze, which was delicious. This is good hot, but I think it's better cool or at room temp. I like it a lot better than any of the roasted beets I have had, which despite all sorts of ingredients added later, still tasted like basement to me.