Reassuring Beets

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• 1 pound beets, scrubbed, tops cut 1/2 inch from root, otherwise untrimmed

• 1 clove garlic

• kosher salt

• freshly ground black pepper

• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

• 1/4 cup olive or other favorite oil

• 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Steam whole beets until just tender—from 30 to 60 minutes depending on size and age of the beets. When cool enough to handle, slip off skins, and cut into small dice.

Mince the garlic on a cutting board with a fat pinch of salt and lavish grindings of pepper. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in vinegar, then oil. Toss with beets. Adjust seasonings. You may prepare to this point a few hours ahead to allow flavors to mature.

In a dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring attentively, until golden brown and fragrant. This takes just a few minutes; they WILL burn if you get distracted. Stir into beets just before serving.

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