Step 1: Cut off the stalks and greens.
(You can reserve them for recipes like this: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/roasted-beets-and-sauteed-beet-greens/)
Step 2: Immerse the trimmed beets in simmering water for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Test the beets, they should be fork tender. Drain.
Step 4: To remove the skins, run the beets under cold water. The skins should fall off easily.
This is what the beets should look like after the skin is removed
Step 5: Slice beets to desired thickness. The thinner the slice, the quicker the beet will pickle.
(*This is also the time to add finely sliced onion, if desired)
Step 6: Make the vinaigrette. Ingredients needed: 1/4 C white wine vinegar, 1 Tbs sugar, 1-1/2 Tbs olive oil, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, salt and pepper to taste. (Freshly chopped basil & parsley optional.)
Step 7: Whisk vinaigrette until emulsified.
Step 8: Toss vinaigrette together with sliced beets gently to coat. Chill at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle.