My ultimate festive vegetable dish. Prepare everything ahead and refrigerate, but bring back to room temperature before serving.
• 5 small red peppers, de-seeded, stalks and membranes removed and cut into wedges
• 3 small red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
• 4 medium beetroot
• 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into neat diagonal slices
• 2 large acid-free tomatoes
• Handful of fresh basil leaves for garnish
• Juice and zest of 1 orange, with zest cut into thin strips and briefly blanched
• 1 tbsp runny honey
• ¼ cup olive oil
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Roast the pepper and onion wedges until soft and mellow (about 25 minutes). Keep aside.
2. To prepare the beetroot, boil in water for about 40 minutes until tender, then drain, allow to cool and remove the skins. Cut into rough chunks.
3. To prepare the carrots, add a pinch of sugar and cook in salted water for about 10 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Drain and keep aside.
4. Wash the tomatoes well and cut into neat chunks. Make the dressing by mixing everything together in a small screw-top jar, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place the vegetables on a large white platter, and drizzle over the dressing. Garnish with a few torn basil leaves and serve at room temperature.
Recipe from Lauraine Jacob's new cookbook, Everlasting Feast (Random House NZ $55).