I’ve been making some version of this for about 25 years. It’s one of my favourite sides, especially with lamb. Peppers and carrots aren’t usually bedfellows, but with heat and a little acidity added, they are wonderful together. I love the way the carrots mute the peppers.
Any leftover purée makes a great soup – just add chicken or vegetable stock and serve with a spoonful of yogurt and a drop of harissa on top.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
2 red peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
450g carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
½ tsp ground cumin
3 tsp harissa
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
½ tsp harissa
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped (optional)
Heat the oven to 200C/190C fan/gas mark 6. Halve the peppers then remove the stalks and seeds. Put the peppers in a roasting tin, season and add the olive oil. Cook until the peppers are soft, even a little charred at the edges, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the carrots and garlic in a saucepan, add enough boiling water to cover and cook until the carrots are completely soft (otherwise they won’t purée well). Keep an eye on them to make sure they have some moisture and don’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Add a little more water if you need to but not too much. Drain, reserving any cooking water that’s left. Purée the carrots and garlic with the peppers (together with their juices), cumin, harissa, vinegar, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil. If the mixture is too thick, add some of the reserved cooking liquid. Taste to check the seasoning.
To serve, put the purée in a warm serving bowl and spoon some yogurt on top. Stir the harissa into the oil and drizzle this on the yogurt. Scatter with pistachios, if you like.