Cooking in your caravan
These vibrant veggie dishes are easy to knock up outside even if you can't get out touring in your caravan right now...
For more caravan cooking inspiration, check out our digital special, The Motorhome and Caravan Cookbook - priced at just 99p.
Barbecued Carrot Ricotta and Tasted Pecans
You will need:
1 x 500g bunch 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
½ 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
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 approx finger-thickness.
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 three 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.
Ready to cook? Then 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.
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.
Makes: 4-6 portions as a side dish
Total Time: 35 minutes
Grilled peppers with chickpeas, tomatoes, black olives and harissa yoghurt
You will need:
3 large red (bell) peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
400g can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
60g black olives, chopped
60g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp Greek yoghurt
3 tsp harissa
a little extra flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Fire up your barbecue ready for direct or indirect grilling.
Slice the peppers in half through the stem, then scoop out and discard the seeds and core. Line them up on a plate or baking sheet so you can carry them easily to the barbecue.
Set a frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the oil and onion and fry for a good 15 minutes, or until softened and lightly caramelised. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chickpeas, garlic, tomatoes, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and parsley. Season with a little salt and a good grind of pepper. Spoon the filling into the peppers, pushing it well into the corners.
Carefully transfer the stuffed peppers to the grill, or into the oven on a tray, and cook for 30–40 minutes, until the peppers are lightly charred and soft to the touch. Start them off indirectly until they begin to soften, then slide them directly above the fire to finish off chargrilling. If you are cooking over a gas barbecue, start off over a lower flame and gradually increase the heat as the peppers begin to soften.
Once the peppers are cooked, transfer them to a plate. Top each with a dollop of yoghurt, a little harissa and an extra sprinkle of parsley and serve while hot.
Makes: 3-6 portions
Total Time: 1 hour
You will need:
10 large vine tomatoes
8 long green chillies
3 red (bell) peppers
1 bulb of garlic, whole and unpeeled
2 red onions, skins left on, cut into wedges through the root
3 tsp caraway seeds, toasted and ground
3 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
75ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon, to taste
a good handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
salt and ground black pepper
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
a good handful of black olives, sliced warm pitta bread
Fire up a barbecue ready for direct grilling. Add the whole tomatoes, chillies and peppers and cook until charred all over, turning regularly. Put them into a bowl and cover with clingfilm – this will loosen the skins ready for peeling. Put the garlic cloves on the grill and cook until soft and the skin is charred. Finally, add the onion wedges and cook until softened and lightly charred. When all the vegetables are cooked, allow them to cool enough so you can comfortably handle them.
Peel away and discard the tomato, chilli and red pepper skins, and deseed the peppers and chillies. Finely chop the flesh and place in a bowl. Squeeze the garlic cloves from the skins and mash the flesh on a chopping board with the flat of a knife, adding it to the bowl of vegetables.
Discard the outer skin of the onions and the root and finely chop the flesh, also adding it to the bowl. Stir through the caraway and cumin seeds, pour in the olive oil and squeeze in the lemon juice. Add most of the parsley, reserving a little to garnish, and season with salt and pepper, gently stirring everything together. Scoop into a shallow serving dish – in an ideal world leave for an hour or two at room temperature for the flavours to mingle before serving.
Tuck the egg halves around the edge of the bowl of mechouia and scatter over the reserved parsley and the olives. Serve with warm pitta bread to tear up and dunk in.
Makes: 4-6 portions
Total Time: 45 minutes
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