Beets are a nutrient dense food filled with natural sugars and have a very intense earthy flavor. The trick to successfully cooking beets is to soften them while also concentrating their sweet flavor.
Toss the baby beets with olive oil, rosemary or thyme sprigs, salt and pepper and spread them on a roasting pan or cover them in a foil packet. Roast at 375 for about 30 minutes turning them twice until they are tender. Remove skin while warm, and cut in half. Toss with vinegar or lime juice, and additional salt and pepper if needed and serve.
To maximize their nutrition and flavor steam the baby beets. Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add beets, cover, and steam for 15 minutes.
In salads, beets are best served chilled. I like beets paired with salty and sweet ingredients, so I usually combine them with feta or goat cheese, berries, apples and oranges. Adding a nut or seed such as pumpkin seeds or walnuts works great to add some crunchy texture to the salad.
Pickled beets can be made with cooked or raw beets. They both work great! I like both but find the raw beets to result in a slightly crisper texture.
Boiling beets is likely the fastest method for cooking. In this method, it is best to leave them whole so they maintain more of their color.
Fresh beets can be eaten raw too. I think they work best in this way thinly sliced or grated on a salad or even as an ingredient on a veggie sandwich. Beets definitely taste different raw than cooked. More earthy with some sweetness and a crisper texture. Wash and peel skin before using.