Blackened Carrots, Harissa, Ricotta and Za’atar - Chef Recipe by Kyle Johns.

Blackened Carrots, Harissa, Ricotta and Za’atar - Chef Recipe by Kyle Johns.



200g eschalots, peeled and halved
100g whole garlic
4 whole long red chilli
2 roasted and peeled red capsicum
1 Tbs cumin seeds
1 Tbs coriander seeds
2 Tbs smoked paprika
Olive oil
Good red wine vinegar


1 medium-sized carrot per person

Herb oil:

1 bunch of the spring onion tops
1 bunch of parsley, roughly picked
1 bunch of chives
200mL natural flavoured oil (perhaps grapeseed)


3 Tbs dried oregano
2 Tbs sumac
2 Tbs sesame seeds
1 Tbs dried thyme
2 Tbs ground cumin
2 Tbs ground coriander seeds
1 tsp fine sea salt


2 Tbs softened ricotta per person

Sprouted lentils



Char the eschalots, garlic and chilli over charcoal or BBQ, once the skin is blistered transfer to a large frypan and pour over enough olive oil to cover the vegetables.

Place on a low heat and add the spices to lightly toast.

Blend on high until you have a smooth paste, adding the vinegar to loosen the mix.

Season to taste with salt.

Store in the fridge until needed, will last up to 2-3 months in a sealed and clean jar.


Oil and season 1 medium-sized carrot per person and place over the lowest setting on the BBQ or small amount of charcoal.

Turn constantly until all sides are charred and the thickest part of the carrot is cooked but still firm. This allows the natural sugars to caramelise and concentrates the flavour of the carrot. You don’t want to over-char the carrots so you can finish them in a 180 C oven if still hard.

Keep in a warm place until ready to serve.

Herb oil:

Roughly chop the herbs and add to a blender.

Heat the oil to 90 C and pour over into the blender with the herbs, blend on high for 3-5 minutes until the oil turns a vibrant green.

Strain using a coffee filter but don’t be tempted to press the pulp at the end, as this will release the water content from the herbs.


Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Sprouted lentils:

Soak lentils in filtered water overnight. The next day, strain and spread over a damp clean tea towel, cover with another damp towel, or paper towel and set aside in a cool place for 2-3 days, keeping the towels damp by spraying them with water.

To plate:

Place 2 tablespoons of softened ricotta on the bottom of each plate, using the back of the spoon to create ‘dent’ in the cheese but at the same time, spreading the ricotta.

Spoon the harissa into the dents and around the cheese.

Slice the carrots on an angle but keep them together to keep the shape, place on top of the harissa and ricotta.

Spoon the herb oil over the carrot only and immediately sprinkle the za’atar over the whole carrot so the spices stick, being generous with the za’atar.

In a small bowl, mix the sprouted lentils, sliced chives and torn coriander leaves and place over the carrots.

Recipe provided by Appellation

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