1 1/2 pounds medium local beets (about 4; 2 1/2 pounds with greens), trimmed, leaving 1 inch of stems attached
2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons sugar (try subbing honey!)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1. Cover beets generously with water in a heavy medium saucepan and simmer until tender when pierced in center with a knife, 30 to 45 minutes.
2. Drain in a colander and cool to warm, then slip off skins.
3. Cut beets into 1/4-inch slices.
4. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, onion, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
5. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking, then add warm beets and parsley and toss.
6. Season with additional sugar and salt.
7. Serve warm or at room temperature.