You can transform that boring looking carrot into a beautiful rose. That will make your sushi meal look extra attractive. Chef Devaux explains how it’s done.
Take a fresh carrot and cut off a piece of 4 cm from the top. Usually this part of the carrot is thrown away, but now we’re going to use it for making a rose. Peel it using a sharp knife. Peeling it is not required for eating the carrot. This is mainly to make the end result look better. After peeling, cut of a small piece from the top. Now you’ve got a good piece of carrot to work with.
Let’s start with the first petal. Using a carving knife, stick the knife about 1 cm into the carrot, just under the top. Slanting downwards, cut a sort of wave form with a length of a quarter of the circumference of the carrot. Make the same cut slightly under this one and remove the flesh that’s in between these cuts. You’ve just cut out the first petal. Now make the petal as thin as possible by cutting off the flesh on top of the first cut you just made. Note: in this case, it may help you a lot to have a look at the video, to see how it’s done.
Repeat this procedure. Start 1 cm to the right of the first cut you made, move the knife slightly under the first petal and finish halfway under this petal. Continue until there are petals all around the carrot.
Now you need to make sure the petals will curve inwards. For this, cut of some flesh from the top at a 45 degree angle. Do this all around the top. Then, using the same wave form cuts, make the last petals. Make them slightly smaller than the first petals, to create a natural effect. Continue cutting out petals until there’s no room for more. Keep in mind that you need to do all this very gently, as if you’re working with real rose petals.
The last petals – at the top of the rose you’re making – are almost impossible to make. So, don’t try. Instead, just make a few small jagged cuts. This will make it look like small petals.
The calyx, stem and leaves will be cut from a cucumber. Start with the calyx, by making 4 cuts all around the flat end of the cucumber. Cut at a slight angle and start 5 cm from the end. These cuts will become 4 green leaves. Then cut off the piece of cucumber, but don’t cut through the leaves.
Using a small knife, cut out a V-shape in between the leaves you cut earlier. Cut until you reach the middle of the cucumber. Then remove the flesh you’ve just cut out. If necessary, scrape out the rest. Of course, make sure you don’t damage the leaves on the outside.
You now created a kind of cup, with leaves on the outside. Use the knife point to cut out a small hole at the bottom. This is to connect the stem, which you’ll make in the next step.
Cut out a thin V-shaped piece from the cucumber. Make it as long as the cucumber, to get a nice long stem. Put aside for later.
Cut of a slice of the side of the cucumber, 7 or 8 cm long, 2 cm wide and 0.5 cm thick. Cut out a leaf shape. Then cut a vein through the middle. You can do this by first making a very shallow cut from top to bottom. Then angle the knife slightly and make the same cut. Pull out the flesh inside these cuts. This way the main vein is clearly visible.
From the main vein, do the same at a 45 degrees angle a number of times. This creates the side veins. Repeat all this to make more leaves.
Make a small but deep hole at the bottom of the carrot rose. It needs to be deep to be able to hold the stem inside it.
Now pull the stem through the whole in the cucumber cup. Stick one side of the stem into the whole at the bottom of the carrot rose. Cut out a very small V-shaped piece of cucumber. You can use this to wedge it in the carrot hole next to the stem, to keep the stem in place.
Press the carrot rose into the cucumber calyx. Put the whole construction flat onto a plate. Add one or two leaves and you’ve done it! You just created a beautiful carrot rose. You can even eat it, although it’s probably better to simply enjoy the look of it.