Many British people believe that beetroot is no more nor less than slices of purple woody root vegetable kept in a jar of acid vinegar. This perception is so deeply imbued that many actually grow to love the sensation of putting something in their mouths which causes involuntary pursing of the lips and a sudden inhalation of air. When offered sweet baby beets that have never been subjected to pickling they become confused, even agitated. Inducing this sensation will give the cook much satisfaction and the guest a happier insight into a great British vegetable.
It is not always easy to find baby beetroots in the shops, but it is worth asking your greengrocer to get some. Dissuade him from boiling them himself and stress that vinegar is not part of your plan. Often beetroots come pre-packed, in which case they will be larger, probably cooked and already trimmed and peeled. If this is so, cut them into quarters. Beetroots bought by the bunch still with their leaves are smaller and much nicer, though inevitably more expensive.