When I was a child, beets came from a can, sliced, and there was just one recipe as far as I knew – Harvard beets, which involved cornstarch, sugar and vinegar. You didn’t need another recipe, because nobody liked beets anyhow.

In the 1990s, a single dish transformed the beet (or at least Americans’ appreciation for it) and was soon everywhere: roasted beet salad with goat cheese, greens and nuts, often walnuts. These days, it has been mostly supplanted by kale salad, grain salad or salads sprinkled with savory granola; food fashion, like all fashion, is fickle. But that’s no reason for you to drop the beet.

Stick with the goat cheese theme, but try a beet and goat cheese tart: beat together goat cheese, ricotta or cream cheese, eggs and seasoning (think savory cheesecake). You can fold the beet greens – cooked and chopped – into the cheese, too. Fill a prebaked tart shell with the mixture, then top with a variety of sliced, cooked beets. Drizzle with olive oil, dot lightly with chopped pistachios, bake. Or grate a cooked beet and combine it with yogurt, garlic, fresh mint and cayenne. I’d have never thought of this combination myself – the recipe comes from Madhur Jaffrey’s “World Vegetarian” and is fantastically, improbably, good.

Equally unlikely and delicious – the late Laurie Colwin’s beet pasta; find it in her “More Home Cooking.”

Grate raw beets into coleslaw. Pickle hard-boiled eggs with beets. It’s worth it for the color alone. Or bake a chocolate-beet cake and pair it with beet ice cream (add cooked, pureed beets to a vanilla custard base).

It’s not as strange as it sounds – beets give us sugar, after all. Heavy, grubby softball-sized beets (usually minus the greens) will be in farmers markets in Maine all winter. You have a lot of time to experiment.