When you ask people if they like beets, the first thing they do is wrinkle their nose. But when you serve them as a fait accompli, they say, "ah, yes, I haven't had these in a while". Somehow, beets are pretty low on the totem pole. We don't look for them like we do carrots, spinach and even broccoli. If we see them, they don't register. I guess they are kind of intimidating to most. When I don't know what to do with a vegetable or anything else, the first thing I do is go to the Joy of Cooking. They always have a good recipe for whatever you want to make. This recipe, on the other hand, is an adaptation of an old recipe of my grandmother's. She served everything, and God forbid we didn't eat it.
To cook beets, all you have to do is boil them in plenty of water until they are done. Medium size beets should take about 40 minutes. The big one I got at the market took almost an hour. Use a fork to test. Peel and cool slightly. It's that simple. If you want them in a salad, just cool and add oil and vinegar. They are great with goat cheese on a green salad too.
Yield: Serves 6
12 medium-sized cooked beets whole or cut up
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch flour
1-1/2 cups water from the beets
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
salt, cloves, and nutmeg
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Blend in the flour and stir in the water from the beets . Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and thick. Add the sugar and vinegar, then salt, cloves, and nutmeg to taste. When well mixed, add the beets and serve hot.