1. Heat the oven to 375 °F.
  2. Trim the leaves off the beets, leaving about an inch of stem.
  3. Set the beets in a roasting pan.
  4. Bake until the skins are crinkled and loose and a sweet beet smell permeates the kitchen.
  5. Medium-sized beets should take about 1½ to 2 hours, small ones about 1½ hours.
  6. Peel the beets and cut into ⅜-inch cubes.
  7. Place the orange juice, orange zest, beets and butter in a shallow saucepan or a skillet.
  8. Cook over low to medium heat for 15 minutes—stirring occasionally—then raise the heat to high to reduce the cooking liquid, about 2 minutes.
  9. The beets should be coated with an orange glaze.
  10. Taste.
  11. salt if necessary, and add plenty of freshly ground pepper.
  12. Turn into a warm serving dish and top with the almonds.
  13. Squeeze the orange half over the cooked beets and garnish with the chervil.
  14. Serve immediately.
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