Another example of foods we're taught to hate, beets are actually outta-this-world tasty and CRAZY good for you. Roast them, peel them, and eat them. So easy.
(As a side note, there seems to be some contention about whether beets should be peeled before or after the cooking process...obviously, I'm a fan of roasting them in their skins. They turn out waaaaay more flavorful, cook faster, and make less of a mess that way. Where's the contention there?)
Here's how this works. It's, um...really easy. Dump your beets out on a sheet tray, add a good dash of olive oil and some salt, then turn them round and round until the outsides are evenly coated. They should look like this before going into the oven:
Toss 'em in the 'ol oven and let them roast for about an hour at 400 degrees. The time may vary if your beets are smaller, but just keep checking and err on the longer bake time if you're not sure. You know the beets are done when you can easily pierce one with a fork. When they reach this point, remove them from the oven and let them cool for awhile. You'll need to peel them, but you certainly can't do it when they're scalding hot! Good smells will abound. You may need to distract yourself.
Finally, take a small paring knife and slice off the long bits of root (these can be used for soup if you like) and the grungy brown bottom. Peel the beet with your little knife (or an actual peeler if you have one) and slice the soft red interior into bite-size bits. Add these hunks of yumminess to your salads or simply eat them alone with a bit of salt. They rock.
(pretty photo taken from here)