There's a reason why slow cooker recipes are wildly popular. We want convenience, and we want—and need—it now. The slow cooker delivers just that, working hard for us while we're hard at work, welcoming us home to a fragrant dinner that's just waiting to be enjoyed. This simple appliance works miracles with tough, inexpensive cuts of meat, coaxing out incredible flavor and turning out meltingly tender results. Through its low, slow cooking, it melds and marries flavors; it brings ingredients together in delicious harmony. And it offers up a few surprises: appetizers, sides, and drinks that simmer to perfection—hands-free.
A little lemon juice brings out the vivid color in these beets and keeps the flavors bright, too. Fun fact: While acidic ingredients like vinegar and citrus juice turn green veggies brown because the acid kills the chlorophyll, the same ingredients help preserve the color in other vegetables like red and yellow beets (or even white asparagus). If rosemary isn't your thing, thyme would work well here, and lemon thyme would be even better. Adding lemon rind at the end lends a little floral aroma and flavor. Delicate ingredients like zest are always best added at the end of the cooking process or else their flavor dissipates. A touch of honey amplifies the natural sweetness of the beets and subtly glazes the veggies.