This salad is a favourite of my good mate Pete Begg. He was inspired to make it when he lived in Italy, where each stall at the local market would offer its own seasonal salad mix. Come spring and summer, a beautiful veggie salad can be made with baby asparagus, broad beans or small, sweet courgettes (which you can treat just like cucumbers: slice them thinly or cut them into long strips with a speed peeler). All these vibrant flavours need a powerful dressing to bring them together, so Pete decided to flavour his with chilli and mint as they are very good friends - brilliant!
- 3 fresh beetroots, different colours if possible, peeled
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 1 heart celery, with leaves
- ½ small radicchio, washed and dried
- 1 bunch radishes, topped and tailed
- 1 bulb fennel, herby tops reserved
- 1 grilled chilli dressing
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Very finely slice or shave the beetroots and carrots, using good knife skills, a mandolin on a fine setting or, most easily, a speed peeler, until you have a pile of thin, wavy, crunchy slices.
- Place in a big mixing bowl. With a sharp knife, slice the celery heart and leaves, the radicchio, the radishes and the fennel as finely as you can and add to the bowl of root veg slices.
- Toss the root vegetables in the grilled chilli dressing, season carefully to taste, and serve sprinkled with the reserved fennel tops.