Easy vegetarian BBQ recipes: chargrilled carrot and ricotta salad

This vegetarian BBQ recipe of sweet charred carrots, creamy ricotta and crunchy nuts makes a delicious weekend meal

vegetarian BBQ recipe: chargrilled carrot and ricotta salad taken from Charred BBQ book
(Image credit: Jason Ingram)

If you’re looking for a new vegetarian BBQ recipe, you need to add this one to your list. Chargrilled carrots are an absolute revelation and show just how good fire-cooked vegetables can be. The dry heat of the barbecue or grill really intensifies and concentrates the flavour of the carrots. It's a great way of using up carrots if you've grown your own this year and have ended up with a glut.

The best salads are an explosion of colour, taste and texture, and this ticks all those boxes with ease. Perfect for those early autumn days when it’s still warm enough for salad, perhaps even to eat in the garden if you're lucky. There's hardly any prep and it's so easy to put together. Once you get it on the grill it’s a pretty quick job too.

This recipe is designed as a BBQ sharing plate for 4-6 people but you can also serve it as a side or even as a main for two people. Keep reading for the full recipe, then check out our best barbecues buying guide if you're after a new buy to cook them on. 

BARBECUED CARROT, RICOTTA AND TOASTED PECAN SALAD

Ingredients

  • 500g carrots, preferably with 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 garlic, crushed
  • 250g ricotta
  • ½ bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 50g pecans, toasted and chopped
  • small bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

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. 

3 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.

4 Once you're ready to cook, fire up your barbecue for direct grilling, or preheat a cast-iron griddle pan on the hob.

5 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.

6 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.

Charred: The complete guide to vegetarian grilling and BBQ by Genevieve Taylor | Available at Amazon

Want even more exciting vegetarian BBQ recipes to extend your grilling repertoire? Charred offers up over 70 original, exciting recipes, with sections on stuffed and wrapped vegetables, burgers and fritters, kebabs, slow and smoked recipes, and sharing platters, the vegetarian dishes will be the highlight of every meal. These delicious dishes can also just as easily be cooked in a grill pan or conventional oven, year-round. View Deal