I think that one could use carrots, parsnips, celeriac, turnips, even daikon here. This dish would make a tasty pasta sauce, or a sauce for cooked grains, too…

1 lb or so beets
1 c hot milk
2 T butter
1 T flour
salt and pepper, to taste
2 T lemon juice
1 t sugar, optional

1. Trim beets, if necessary, and cook according to your preference. Cool some. Peel if you like. Coarsely grate beets, or chop finely. Put in a bowl and set aside.

2. Heat milk in a small saucepan; don’t even bring to a simmer, take it off the heat before a skin forms (this is often just before a simmer begins). Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over low heat. Add flour and whisk constantly for a minute or two until the flour loses its raw taste. Gradually add hot milk, whisking, and turn heat up some. Whisk until the sauce begins to bubble and thicken. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice, sugar, if using, and blend well.

3. Stir beets into white sauce, mixing well. Heat through. Taste for seasonings and serve.