This is my version of a recipe I recently found in a cooking magazine, with a number of changes!1 ½ pounds small beets, peeled and halved 2 cups water, or so 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 cloves garlic, whole, peeled 3 sprigs fresh thyme ¾ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (this is great place to use the really good stuff!) ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Arrange beets in a single layer, cut side down, in a 12-inch non-stick skillet. Add enough water to come up about halfway on the beets. Dot with butter, garlic, thyme, and salt and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until the beets are just tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove lid and use a fork or slotted spoon to transfer garlic to cutting board; discard thyme. Increase heat to medium-high and vigorously simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until water evaporates and butter starts to sizzle, 15 to 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, mince garlic to a paste. Transfer paste to a small bowl and stir in balsamic vinegar and pepper.
Continue to cook beets, swirling pan frequently, until butter browns and cut sides of beets turn spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes longer. Off heat, add garlic / vinegar mixture and chives and toss to thoroughly coat. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.