I can't help feeling that beetroots would be better loved if they had a more romantic name. It was not ever thus. Gerard - he of the great herbal - was very appreciative of a simple beetroot salad with an oil and vinegar dressing, describing it as "delightful to the eye". I must agree with him - they look lovely. Unless they're roasted, in which case they look gnarled and scorched and just taste exquisite.
Spaghetti rossi is a big favourite here. It's made the same way as a risotto but using beetroot puree (three medium sized beetroot, mashed) and broken spaghetti (instead of rice). Just saute the onion, put in the spaghetti, then the puree. Top up slowly with boiling chicken stock until the spaghetti is cooked. Throw in a handful of hard white cheese (the recipe specifies lancashire but we normally use feta). Eat.
Coincidentally, lots of beetroot recipes appeared elsewhere this week. Allegra's beetroot pickled eggs and Sophie Grigson's beetroot curry. And this tucked away in my recipe scrapbook, a handwritten recipe that I've had for years, from a dear friend in Cornwall .
Need I say more?