Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2Trim the leaves off the beets, leaving about an inch of stem. Set the beets in a roasting pan. Bake until the skins are crinkled and loose and a sweet beety smell permeates the kitchen. Medium-sized beets should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, small ones about 1 1/2 hours.
Step 3Peel the beets and cut into 3/8-inch cubes. Place the orange juice, orange zest, beets and butter in a shallow saucepan or a skillet. 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. The beets should be coated with an orange glaze. Taste. Salt if necessary, and add plenty of freshly ground pepper. Turn into a warm serving dish and top with the almonds. Squeeze the orange half over the cooked beets and garnish with the chervil. Serve immediately.