When I was growing up, I thought beets came from cans. Today, bunches of beets can be purchased at gourmet stores, farmer's markets and even at local supermarkets. They are in season May through October. I suggest purchasing beets with their stems and chard-like leaves attached. Still, in a pinch, canned beets are tasty, and can be used instead of fresh in most recipes.Our Ashkenazi ancestors ate beet greens in salads during the summer. But they stored their fleshy roots in cellars for use during the cold months ahead. Beets were also fermented in earthenware crocks to make brine, which was then used to perk up horseradish and kugels. These days, many people prefer glass jars of magenta, beet-sweetened horseradish over plain horseradish, a taste that's so much sharper.Rinse beet bulbs under cold water and scrub them with a brush to remove surface dirt. Peel off the outer skin. Cut off roots and remainders of the leaf stems. Slice beets into quarters.
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