I blame the hatred of beets on the people who thought it would be a good idea to can beets, turning them into pale, metallic-tasting ghosts of their former selves.
We've been working our way through the pile of sticks left behind by the recent wind storm at the same time as we are getting in our last few dinners from the grill, and the other day Husband tossed my CSA beets into some foil and threw them on right in the coals. About 30 minutes later, they were soft and ready. No, you don't have to peel them or anything. As a matter of fact, I think beets are best left in their skins to cook in their own steam; once cooked, the skins will just slip off. If you are afraid of getting beet-stained fingertips, you might want to use gloves to remove the skins or slip them with and into a paper towell.
I allowed the beets to cool to room temperature. From there, I merely sliced them and drizzled with my favorite refrain - a little good extra virgin olive oil - and sprinkled over a little crunchy sea salt and cracked black pepper. A few shavings of ricotta salata - a pressed and salted Italian sheep's milk cheese - completed the dish. So simple, so tasty.
If you'd like to try this recipe in an oven, just wrap the beets in some foil or parchment paper and throw them in a 350 degree oven while dinner is cooking. Unwrap just a bit and give a beet a poke with a sharp knife to see if they are to your desired softness.
If you are scared of beets, please give them another try. Keep things simple, and remember that they are earthy, they are supposed to be that way.