Loris and I have just about finished our beets for the spring. I didn't plant enough, and I didn't take care of them well, so I'm impressed we had as many as we did. I planted a non-standard variety, in a variety of beautiful colors, which have a sort of target, spiral pattern when you slice them.
I haven't learned much about growing beets yet, although I just planted my second batch. For the first batch, I tried to plant two small rows close to each other. I failed to weed or to thin, which was a big mistake. Surprisingly, as I said, they turned out ok, although we didn't get very many. Apparently, each beet "seed" is more like a fruit that contains several seeds, so after they germinate, you're supposed to take some scissors and thin them out (rather than pulling them, because their roots will be all tangled together). I've never done this, but I've just planted a small bed of beets and I'll probably give it a try. Considering we're already having 100 degree weather, I'm not sure the beets will survive long enough to see if it works.
For this planting, I prepared a bed that is probably only 18 inches by 18 inches, and scattered the seed evenly. I'll thin it and let it grow in, without bothering to try to form rows. It's a sort of experiment.
We had roasted beets for dinner tonight, and yesterday night as well. Last night, we made two types of bruschetta; one had beets and gorgonzola cheese, and the other had leeks sauteed in butter with stracchino cheese. Both were delicious.
Tonight, we made a small appetizer salad with roasted beets, sliced onion, and gorgonzola. The flavors and textures were perfect together. This was a variation of another salad we typically do in the summer with sweet heirloom tomatoes, onions, and gorgonzola.