Wash the roots delicately clean, but neither scrape nor cut them, as not a fibre even should be trimmed away, until after they are dressed. Throw them into boiling water, and according to their size boil them from one hour and a half to two hours and a half. Pare and serve them whole, or thickly sliced, and send melted butter to table with them. Beet-root is often mixed with winter salads; and it makes a pickle of beautiful colour; but one of the most usual modes of serving it at the present day is, with the cheese, cold and merely pared and sliced, after having been boiled or baked.
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Baked, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours.
This root must not be probed with a fork like other vegetables, to ascertain if it be done or not; but the cook must endeavour, by attention, to learn the time required for it. After it is lifted out, the thickest part may be pressed with the fingers, to which it will yield, if it be sufficiently boiled.
Beet root, if slowly and carefully baked until it is tender quite through, is very rich and sweet in flavour, although less bright in colour than, when it is boiled: it is also, we believe, remarkably nutritious and wholesome. Wash and wipe it very dry, but neither cut nor break any part of it; then lay it into a coarse dish, and bake it in a gentle oven for four or five hours: it will sometimes require even a longer time than this. Pare it quickly if to be served hot; but leave it to cool first, when it is to be sent to table cold.
The white beet-root is dressed exactly like the red: the leaves of it are boiled and served like asparagus. In slow oven from 4 to 6 hours.
Bake or boil it tolerably tender, and let it remain until it is cold, then pare and cut it into slices; heat and stew it for a short time in some good pale veal gravy (or in strong veal broth for ordinary occasions), thicken this with a teaspoonful of arrow-root, and half a cupful or more of good cream, and stir in, as it is taken from the fire, from a tea to a tablespoonful of vinegar. The beet may be served likewise in thick white sauce, to which, just before it is dished, the mild eschalots of page 138 may be added.