This recipe may look as though you’ve spent hours behind the stove, but honestly it’s simpler than you think to make. So with a little bit of advance preparation, plan to sit down, relax and thoroughly enjoy Christmas with this colourful and tasty salad on the table!
Preheat the oven in time to 180°C (about 350 F). If needed, wash the beetroots and dry them well. Wrap each beetroot in a piece of tin foil and place them on a baking tray and roast them in the preheated oven for about 45-60 minutes until tender and soft but not wrinkled.
Allow the beetroots to cool until you can touch them without getting burnt. Once cooled peel them and using a melon spoon, cut out little balls. Set aside.
Dice the pre-cooked red beets.
Cut florets from the Romanesco and cut a thin slice from the bottom so they can stand upright like little Christmas trees. Blanch the florets in boiling water (for 1 minute) and plunge them into ice water so they stay green and firm and won't continue to cook.
Next blanch the flowersprouts quickly in boiling water and plunge them into ice water so they stay green and firm and won't continue to cook. Cut a thin slice form the bottom so that they can stand upright.
Slice or shave the carrots and cucumber to make thin ribbons.
Prepare the dressing:
Bring the orange juice with beet and sugar to a boil and reduce on moderately high heat to make a thin syrup. Keep an eye on it, as it can go thick very quickly.
Place several lettuce leaves in across the serving plate. Then arrange the coloured and diced cooked beets, flowersprouts and Romanesco 'trees' on the plate.
Roll up ribbons of carrots in two colours, then the cucumber ribbons and arrange them all on the plate.
Garnish with chervil leaves and drops of avocado oil.
For the finishing touch, drizzle the dressing over the plates and serve immediately.
Tips from the author
Tip: If the cucumber and carrot ribbons won't stay in place you can wrap them in cling film and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Rest assure, they will keep their shape after that!
Prepare ahead: You can roast and blanch the vegetables earlier in the day and make the vegetable ribbons ahead of time. Just place the prepared vegetables in the fridge until half an hour before serving time. The dressing can also be made in advance, leaving you with little work right before serving.