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2 lb. beets
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim long root and greens (if still attached) from about 2 pounds of beets. Wash well and dry. Place in ovenproof pan, drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. If you're feeling frisky, add a teaspoon of thyme, or a bay leaf, and/or a few cloves of garlic, and/or some lemon or orange zest. Cover. Bake about 40 to 90 minutes, until beets are soft when pierced with a fork; the length of time will depend on the size of the beets. This method of cooking vs. steaming/boiling/microwaving intensifies its natural flavor and brings out full sugar.
Let beets cool slightly; peel. Serve warm, drizzled with olive oil or butter, herb of choice, salt and pepper, and a spritz of lemon juice or your favorite vinegar.
Also consider serving on a bed of those healthy, delicious sautéed or steamed beet greens. Simply wash the greens, cut coarsely and steam or sauté until soft, about 4 to 7 minutes.
For later use, dress beets in some olive oil, cover and refrigerate; best to use within one week.