Look for: Small beets with firm, dark ruby or bright orange skins.
Microwave: Cut beets into 1⁄4-inch-thick rings; place in a large glass baking dish or pie pan. Add 1⁄4 cup water, cover tightly and microwave on High for 10 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.
Roast: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut beets into 11⁄2-inch chunks. Spread on a baking sheet or in a pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat with 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil. Roast, turning once halfway through cooking, until tender, about 30 minutes.
Sauté: Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Grate beets into the pan using the large-hole side of a box grater. Add 1 minced garlic clove. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add 1⁄3 cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
Steam: Cut beets into quarters. Place in a steamer basket over 2 inches of water in a large pot set over high heat. Cover and steam until tender, about 15 minutes.