|Beetroot, by Maria Livings and Marie Rodgers of Lush Designs|
Let's celebrate autumn with the vegetable that is surely the juiciest, most autumnal root—the beet!
"The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies."
—Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins
Beets aren't the friendliest things to cook, but you can be rewarded with candy-flavored little jewels of food if you're willing to put into some slicing and roasting time.
Slice them up (wear an apron but enjoy the way your hands turn a lovely hot pink color). Toss in a few sliced carrots and let them get a little pink, too. Sprinkle some rosemary over beets and carrots. Roast at 400 or 425 until they're tender—about 45 minutes.
You can make salads with roasted beets (red cabbage, walnut, red apples, and red wine vinegar is a good one), but after waiting for them to roast, I'm usually to impatient to do anything but eat them! Try roasting them at the same time as you roast a chicken.
Remember to save your beet greens, too, for a light reminder of the end of summer. If you have a juicer, the beet greens make a lovely pink foam for the top of your orange-carrot juice.