This summer I’ve been deeply moved by beets. It’s a vegetable we almost never buy, and even having grown them in the past, they have been only in the middle of our list of favorites. But this summer is different. Perhaps it’s the preparation: steaming or braising with a little water and butter instead of roasting them in the oven. Whatever the difference, this summer the levels of flavor and complexity have floored me. The beet is an earthy vegetable, and when really fresh (like with carrots and potatoes) they still taste something of the soil. But this aspect of the beet’s flavor, when balanced with the its sweetness and lovely soft texture, creates a harmony which I’ve been finding inspired and addictive.