Photo: Courtesy of Media 27

Roots can be deceptive. From the outside, with their nondescript skins, they may appear uninspiring, giving no indication of the beauty and flavor hiding within. Once peeled and sliced, the candy-cane stripes of Chioggia beets and vibrant pink interiors of watermelon radishes are revealed, and to the cook are as extravagant and appealing as rose petals.

Toasting the pine nuts and pistachios adds an irresistible buttery nuttiness; don’t be tempted to skip that step.

  • 1 small daikon radish
  • 1 watermelon radish
  • 1 raw Chioggia beet
  • 1 raw yellow beet
  • 1 small head red radicchio, leaves separated and torn bite size
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 heaped tablespoon walnut or Dijon mustard
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chives, finely chopped

Peel all the roots and slice them as thinly as possible, using a mandoline, food processor, or your own excellent knife skills. On a large platter, arrange the daikon and beet slices and radicchio leaves in an attractive manner, interspersing the different varieties and colors.

Dry roast the pistachios and pine nuts in a small pan over low heat for a few minutes until they release their aroma. Immediately scatter the warm nuts over the vegetables.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice and olive oil to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and serve, scattered with chives.

Serves 6 – 8.

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