They do taste like dirt... In a good way. I really like the earthy taste by itself but most people like them better as a minor component. Try serving them with other strong flavors like kale and lemon. A dish that was on at the restaurant that we all thought would be a have to give it away situation was beets with a vadouvan curry vinaigrette and we couldn't roast beets fast enough. Being cold/room temp also cuts the dirt and boosts the sweet. Also salt em like potatoes, it's really hard to over salt beets.
Also I am intensely jealous that you have beets already. Probably as jealous as you are that we still have tomatoes and eggplant.
We should have a KKF beet cooking competition. Call it The Beet Off.
Might be late to the party, but here's my method. You need coarse kosher salt, olive oil, regular sea salt and pepper, aluminum foil and a half sheet tray. Scrub them gently, cut off all but 1/2" of the greens, and any long tips, hairs etc. Leave the skin on! Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap each beet loosely in a piece of aluminum foil. Pour 1 - 2 boxes of coarse kosher salt on the sheet tray to make a bed of salt at least a quarter inch thick, if not thinker. Lay the wrapped beets on the salt bed, and roast in an oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the beets. You want them fully cooked, but to still have body. Remove and let cool. When you unwrap them from the foil, the skin virtually falls off. The great thing about this method is that the beets are fully cooked, but retain some body and all of their color (IE goldens stay gold, chioggas keep thier stripes etc.) At this point I slice them if I want to show off local produce. Another option is to grate them. Grate golden beets into a bowl with white balsamic, grate red beets into a bowl with regular balsamic. Add oil, S&P to each. Use a ring mold to layer one color on bottom, the other color on top. Spread softened goat cheese on top of that. Garnish how you wish....oil drizzle, herbs, crispy shallots, aged balsamic etc., and serve with something crunchy.....vegetable slices, toasted baguette slices etc.
Interesting that no one commented on the type of beets - here in Denmark we have the red, the striped and the white ones and I prepare every type on a different way. (We buy half of our vegies from a collective so we go really local and seasonal. It forces us to be more creative and we discover soemthing different)
But my fav are the red ones.
- Wash them
- Boiled them, until soft
- Peel them
- let them cool
- Slice them
- Serve with olive oil, and garlic dip
Another alternative for the striped ones as well is to prepare veg. burgers.
I love pickling eggs with beet vinegar!