so while reading on line "how Carrots won the Trojan war" (I was searching for ancient greek history stuff and ran across this one) I found the factoid of the day:
Pliny the elder ate the beet leaves, but that he said the "nether parts" were used by doctors as medicine. For example, you mixed the beets with garlic to treat tapeworm.
which explains why they taste so bad (or maybe, like brussel sprouts and eggplant Americans don't know the proper way to cook them).
From NYTimes: Beet recipes that even a beet hater can love.
Beet and Beet Green Gratin: This gratin is beautiful if you pair chioggas or golden beets with red beets. It is good hot or cold.
Beet, Citrus and Avocado Salad: The juicy, acidic grapefruit plays off the earthy beets and the creamy, nutty avocado.
Mixed Spring Greens Salad With Roasted Beets: Beets go especially well with mesclun, though arugula is a perfect alternative.
Grated Raw Beet Salad: Even people who swear they hate beets love this salad, says Martha Rose Shulman.
and no, we don't have beets here in the Philippines. No brussel sprouts either, but we do have lots of small eggplants, which tend to be less bitter than the large ones usually eaten in the states. Usually they are boiled with other veggies, or boiled with vinegar and "bangus" (fish), or their skins are charred then they are smashed and dipped in egg and fried.
That last one is similar to how we ate slice eggplant in the US. The trick with large eggplants are to slice thin and salt them for awhile to take out the bitterness.