My crunchy root vegetable Christmas Tree salad

December 3, 2020by Reggie Aspiras0
Plus a delicious ‘bibingka’ and ‘ube’ cake for your holiday table


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

After the warm reception for the Jack O’ Lantern, the Halloween treat from Brothers Burger (@brothersburgers on Facebook and Instagram;, comes Rudolph’s Burger. Sandwiched in a cranberry bun is a house blend cheddar cheese-stuffed, flame-grilled beef patty, with sweet glazed holiday bacon, homemade mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and onions. Truly, it’s as festive to the eye as it is to the bite!

Rudolph Burger

Pinoy Christmas rice cake

It seems like the bar has been cast higher of late for sweet treats. Cheese rolls, cakes and even bibingka have become softer, richer, moister or as light as clouds.

Triple cheese bibingka topped with salted egg and Holland “queso de bola”

Adie’s Bibingka (Viber 0917-8802232; Adie’s Delight on Facebook; @adies_delight on Instagram) is truly one of the best I’ve tried, made purely with ground rice. This bibingka has the mouthfeel of a chiffon cake.

In taste, it is delicate and has all the elements and flavors of a true bibingka, but this rendition is subtler, more refined.

Topping the cloud-like bibingka is a combination of cheddar, cream cheese and queso de bola. It stays soft for days, even after it’s been refrigerated. I love warming it in the toaster oven, then slathering it with more butter and a sprinkling of sugar!

Adeline and Mark Reyson Co started selling this treasure during the lockdown, after the closure of Mark’s siomai shop near the University of Santo Tomas that catered to students. When God closed that door, He opened this big window of opportunity, and Adie’s online was born.

From the Co kitchen comes many delicious, well-executed homemade delights. I am in love with their premium siomai. It is all a homemade siomai should be, without extenders and with chunks of pork and shrimp. It was like the siomai of my youth made by our favorite cook, Aling Emy. Their ready-to-pan-fry or -grill chicken barbecue with peanut sauce is also such tasty, comforting treat. The longganisang hubad tastes like a well-made tocino in longganisa form. The chicken tocino is also good!

Divine ‘ube’ cake

One of my best finds this year is Butternut Bakery’s Ube Chiffon (tel. 0927-4615655;
@butternutmnl on Facebook and Instagram). An old-fashioned, ube chiffon cake that’s bouncy, light and moist, filled with thick layers of homemade pure ubeng halaya. Like their Mocha Chiffon that I recently featured, it is beautifully finished with a bouquet of buttercream roses.

“Ube” cake

Holiday salad

Sharing one of my cutest holiday recipes with you, my Crunchy Root Vegetable Christmas Tree Salad.

Crunchy Christmas Tree Salad

Crunchy Root Vegetable Christmas Tree Salad

1 kg assorted root vegetables (potato, sweet potato variants, taro)–use an assortment, and in as many colors available to you
Shred into matchsticks. Fry in hot Golden Fiesta Canola Oil. Fry in batches, do not overcrowd pan.

After each batch, give the oil a few seconds to warm up before frying a fresh batch. Drain vegetables on paper towel.

Season root vegetables with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder,
paprika. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Salad components: 250 g mix of watercress, polunchay and arugula; cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, bacon bits

For the dressing: 1 ripe avocado, ⅓ c yogurt, garlic, onion powder, herbs of choice, salt, pepper, ¼ c milk +/-, enough to thin dressing to desired consistency. Adjust seasoning to your liking. Double the recipe if you wish.

To assemble: Make a bed of greens, and on it pile the crunchy root vegetables to resemble a Christmas tree. Drizzle gently with avocado dressing, to make the tree appear “snow-capped.” Deck with cherry tomatoes, slivered onions and crunchy bacon. The best way to enjoy this salad is with a lot of greens and dressing. Watch how I prepared it on my IGTV post.

Happy holidays and happy cooking from Reggie’s Kitchen! INQ

Follow @iamreggieaspiras on Facebook and Instagram; visit

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