* Note: To cook beets, cut off the greens and most of the stems, leaving about 1 inch. Don’t scrub them or cut off the thin root, or they will bleed their juices, sweetness, and color as they cook. Place them in a pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and cook until tender. Medium beets (about 2 inches in diameter) cook in 30 to 35 minutes. For this salad, you want them crunchy, so don’t overcook. Drain, let cool completely, then peel and cut.