“I adore this salad and would eat the whole thing myself given half a chance – the combination of sweet charred carrots, creamy ricotta and crunchy nuts is quite simply addictive. If you’ve never grilled a carrot before, do it now. They are an absolute revelation and show just how good fire-cooked vegetables can be.” – Genevieve Taylor
Genevieve Taylor’s Barbecued Carrot Salad With Ricotta And Toasted Pecans
Serves 4–6 as a side dish
1 x 500g (1lb 2oz) bunch of carrots, preferably with the tops on
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed in a pestle and mortar
1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
1 tsp dried chilli flakes, ideally chipotle chilli flakes
1 clove of garlic, crushed
250g (1¼ cups) ricotta
½ bunch of spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
50g (½ cup) pecans, toasted and chopped
A small bunch of coriander (cilantro), chopped
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Trim the tops off the carrots and scrub under running water. Slice in half lengthways, or into quarters if they are a little larger – you want them to be approximately finger-thickness.
2. Fill a pan with boiling water and add a little salt, then set over a high heat and bring back to the boil. Once boiling, add the carrots and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain well and tip into a mixing bowl. While they are still hot, add the olive oil, cumin, brown sugar, chilli flakes and garlic, and stir well to mix. Cover and leave to marinate for a couple of hours at room temperature.
3. Once you are ready to cook, fire up your barbecue ready for direct grilling, or preheat a cast-iron griddle pan on the hob. Lay the carrots on the grill bars or griddle, and cook for 15-20
minutes, turning regularly, until they are nicely caramelised. If you are barbecuing, you can add a few smoking wood chunks or chips to up the smokiness. Use a brush to baste the carrots with any excess marinade from the bowl as you turn them.
4. Once soft and caramelised, scatter the carrots over a serving plate and dot with heaped teaspoons of ricotta. Sprinkle over the spring onions, chopped pecans and coriander. Finally, add a generous drizzle of olive oil and finish with a good grind of pepper. Serve while still warm.
Reprinted with permission from Charred: The complete guide to vegetarian grilling and barbecue, Genevieve Taylor, Hardie Grant, May 2019.
Check out our interview with Genevieve Taylor to get more of her best barbecue tips.
If you’re bored of beefburgers, or if you’re vegetarian and want more than scorched sweetcorn and chewy halloumi, then Charred offers up over 70 original, exciting recipes to cater for all your veggie BBQ needs. With sections on “Stuffed and Wrapped Veg”, “Burgers and Fritters”, “Kebabs”, “Low, Slow and Smoked”, and “Sharing Platters”, these vegetarian dishes will be the highlight of every meal, with the likes of whole roast cauliflower drenched in spiced garlic butter, griddled radicchio with burrata and figs, or corn on the cob with Cambodian coconut, lime and chilli.