Beetroot is a versatile vegetable that adds color and flavor to a variety of dishes; both the greens and the root are editable. Saute the greens with garlic and olive oil, add them to a salad, couscous or soup. Beets can be boiled, roasted, pureed, and pickled. Beetroot has also been used as a natural dye. So remember, when you are handling beets you will end up with pink hands! The color washes away quickly but be sure to protect fabrics.

For the recipes below, I peel and roast two large beets; one is used as an ingredient in the beet and cabbage salad and the other beet is pickled with red onions. Cooked beets stay fresh for three to five days if refrigerated. Plan ahead and roast enough beets for two distinctive dishes.

To cook the beets, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Both the sliced beets and the quartered beets are cooked on the same baking sheet. Place parchment paper on the top of the baking sheet. Brush the sliced beets with olive oil and assemble in two orderly rows on one side of the baking sheet. The quartered beets are spread out on the other half of the baking sheet. Cover the quartered beets with a foil tent. This allows them to steam as they cook. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the beets are tender. One slicing tip: take the ends of the beet you are slicing in discs and add them to the quartered beets. That way the discs are uniform in size.

Here are two simple to prepare salads using beets:

Beet and Napa Cabbage Salad

Pickled Beets