Some recipes call for roasted beets or pureed beets. Here is an easy method for roasting beets. "I prefer to roast beets, rather than boil or steam them, for four primary reasons: Roasting is the best method for retaining their bright color and naturally sweet flavor. Boiling and steaming leach more vitamins from the beets than roasting does. Cooking beets in the oven is especially easy because you don't have to keep an eye on the water level in the pot or steamer. And finaly and best of all, roasting doesn't make a mess."
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
Gently scrub the beets under cool running water to remove any dirt. Pat dry. Set each beet in the center of a square of aluminum foil large enough to enclose it and wrap tightly. Arrange the wrapped beets, not touching, on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the beets until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on their size. The beets are done when a paring knife easily pierces to the center of each beet. (If the beets are not the same size, remove the smaller beets from the oven when tender and continue to roast the larger beets until done.) Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. (If not using the beets right away, leave them wrapped in the foil, let the packets cool, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.)
When the beets are cool enough to handle, unwrap and remove from the foil. Wearing disposable gloves, use a paring knife to trim the stem and root ends. Using paper towels, rub each beet to remove the skin. At this point, the beets can be cut into slices or wedges and served as a side dish, or they can be cooled completely and used in recipes calling for roasted beets.