By Katrine Ames
November 12, 2014
Credit: Kana Okada

How to choose: Select beets that are firm with smooth, blemish-free dark red or golden yellow skins. If you want to cook any attached leaves, make sure they are bright green.

How to store: Before refrigerating, separate the beets from the leaves. To keep the beets dry, store them and the leaves, unwashed, in separate plastic bags in the vegetable drawer.

Shelf life: The leaves will last for only two to three days, but the beets can stay fresh for two to three weeks.

Best uses: Small, young beets are tasty grated raw in salads. (Beet juice can stain, so protect your countertops.) All types are delicious steamed or boiled. Or roast them at 400º F for 45 minutes; slice and top with goat cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.