Beets are one of my favourite vegetables - I've cooked and devoured them 3 times in the last week. I've always found them a bit of a pain to prepare but recently read a rechnique that I find really easy.
Scrub the beats and cut off the stem leaving one inch. Boil them until a fork is easily inserted into the beet. Then run them under cold water - this allows you to remove the peel without turning your fingers red. The peel slips right off.
Then I cut the beets in half and slice them. I usually dress them one of two different ways -
(1) sesame oil, bragg's seasoning, lemon & pepper OR
(2) olive oil, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, sea salt, pepper
They are good either hot or cold as a salad and both dressings work great either way. The challenge is to cook enough to have leftovers.