Barbecued Carrot Salad with Ricotta and Toasted Pecans

From Charred by Genevieve Taylor
Serves 4-6 as a side dish

1 x 500g 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 ricotta
1⁄2 bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
50g pecans, toasted and chopped
a small bunch of coriander, chopped
extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fire pit temperature: medium/hot, some flames will help with chargrilling

  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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Finally, add a generous drizzle of olive oil and finish with a good grind of pepper. Serve while still warm.