One summer, volunteering on a low-budget project to restore the castle of the Dukes of Guise in northern France, we had the worst food I have ever eaten in France. The French kids eventually rebelled, complaining that we were starving.
The project director responded by mixing up a huge cauldron of white rice and canned beets – bright pink – and daring us to eat it all. Which we tried to do, and failed. The food went back to being terrible. Despite this scarring experience, I still like boiled beets, though not with rice.
How to make beet salad:
Peel three beets, composting the greens and the tails, and cut them into bite-size pieces. Be careful not to get beet juice on your clothes, because it will stain permanently. Fill a small saucepan half full of water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Then put the beets in, and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer the beets for about twenty minutes, until they are soft.
Drain the beets and rinse them under cold water until they are pretty cool. Put a bed of lettuce on a plate, and arrange the beets on top of the lettuce. Sprinkle crumbled feta cheese on top of the beets for a very pretty salad.
You can make one big beet salad, or plate a lot of small ones individually, which will be even prettier.
Vegetarian or vegan
Beet salad is vegan until you sprinkle the cheese on; if you want to keep it vegan or lactose-free sprinkle crumbled hazelnuts or walnuts instead of the feta cheese.