To cook fresh beets, leave the root in tact and trim the stem down until about 2 inches remain. Clean the beets by scrubbing them with a vegetable brush. Place beets in a large stock pot and cover with water. On high heat, bring water to a boil and then reduce heat to medium so the beets continue to boil. Cook the beets, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until a fork can easily be inserted into the beets. Quickly place each beet in the cold water for about 30 seconds. Peel beets by rubbing the skin, then set aside to cool. Note: Wear food gloves when handling the beets to avoid stains on your hands.
Slice or quarter cooled beets. In a medium bowl, add beets, onion, garlic or garlic powder, olive, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss until beets are coated with the dressing. Adjust salt and pepper as needed. Let stand for about 30 minutes before serving.