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12 Days Of Alternative Plant-based Festive Food Ideas: Beetroot, Parsnip, Radicchio and Orange

We love the contrast of the bitter Radicchio with the earthy and subtle sweetness of the beetroots which slowly gets juicier and more deliciously sweet as it roasts in the oven. Oranges are a great festive addition here and this makes for a much more unusual and unique but really tasty alternative to the traditional and too often predictable Christmas fare. 



Radicchio is a wonderful winter salad addition too- adding a more bitter flavour that can be balanced with some lovely balsamic vinegar and nuts such as walnuts or pecans is a great way to elevate a salad and make it more substantial during the colder months. Add some lovely grains and watercress and a root vegetable and you have yourself a delicious hearty winter salad!



Now back to the recipe! You could try experimenting with other seasonal greens or brassicas here and feel free to use other winter root vegetables like swede or celeriac.


3 beetroots, scrubbed & cut into 8 wedges
2 parsnips, scrubbed and sliced into long wedges
1 orange plus the zest
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 red onions, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
1 large Radicchio, quartered length-wise
1/4 of a seasonal cabbage such as January King Cabbage
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 tsp paprika
1 pinch of Urfa chilli flakes
8 garlic cloves peeled and kept whole



Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan)

Using a pestle and mortar, crush the fennel, coriander and caraway seeds to a coarse powder.  add the paprika, chilli, rosemary. Finely grate the zest onto the spice mix. Season well and stir until all mixed together.
Put the beetroot in a large roasting tin. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and toss the beets, then add the spice mix and stir so the veg are well coated with spices. Cover the tray with foil and roast for 30 minutes.
Slice the orange into 8 wedges.
Take the tray from the oven then add the parsnips, orange and onion wedges alongside the garlic cloves and stir well so everything is coated in the spice mix and juice from the beetroot.
Cover with foil again and roast for a further 25-30 minutes until the beetroots are nice and tender and the parsnip and onion are both starting to turn brown and turn crispy. 
While that's going on put the radicchio and cabbage wedges into a bowl trickle a tablespoon of olive oil and the lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use your hands here to really coat all the leaves thoroughly in the oil. 
Take the roasting tray from the oven and remove the foil. Toss in the radicchio and cabbage and rub the cut surfaces into the spicy juicy mixture from the tin. Roast for another 10 minutes until the radicchio and cabbage are both tender and wilted. 
Spoon into a large serving platter or bowl and pour any remaining juices from the baking tray into the bowl. We recommend serving and enjoying immediately while it's still warm.