Beets are deadly serious".
You're right, Mr. Robbins!! I read Jitterbug Perfume when I was 18 & living with my sister in Maui. It was my first taste of Tom Robbins. Unfortunately, after my sister read the book she went on a beet cooking binge, which led to many, many tastes of beets. But in a weird way. She made beet everything. She made a beet omelet, which turned into a pink, eggy creation that scared me away from beets for years.
My mom & grandma made pickled beets when I was a kid, and even though they are fabulous, they were just too weird for me to like when I was little.
But of course, once I finally grew up - food wise anyway - I have fallen in love with the earthy, deep, rich, and you know I'm gonna say it: sexiness of beets.
On one of my recent, skipping-gleefully-through-the-isles-of-Whole Foods excursions, I saw this roasted beet salad in the deli case & had to re-enact it at home. As usual, I couldn't remember exactly what was in the one I had so I used what I had in the fridge. Here's the gist of it:
Peel a bunch of beets and 1/4 them. Slice some red onion, yellow or red bell pepper & toss them together with the beets, some olive oil & salt & pepper and roast in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
While they're doing their thing in the oven, throw together 1Tbs. olive oil, 1 Tbs. vinegar, a pinch of sugar and a bit of cayenne pepper. Toss the beets, peppers & onions in the vinaigrette, then throw in some feta cheese, chopped parsley & maybe some pine nuts if you have them.