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We began National Vegetarian Week with a Nancy Harmon Recipe (see Chocolate Brownies here) and will end with another recipe from the fabulous Virgin Territory.  I tested this out first on my hubby and used a mixture of carrots and cauliflower, because I didn’t have enough of either and Nancy does say you can use other vegetables. Then, we were having a drinks evening and I tested this on my guests (made entirely with carrots, chopped more finely) and the result was equally satisfying both times – lots of oohs, aahs and compliments.  CloseCarCol


1kg carrots, washed or peeled

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Red wine or water

1 cup cooked chickpeas

1 cup cooked, chopped, spicy or bitter greens (optional, I opted not to)


3 garlic cloves, crushed with the flat blade of a knife

1 bunch cilantro (coriander)

1/3 cup finely minced flat-leaf parsley

1tsp harissa or to taste

1tsp sea salt

1tsp Spanish pimento dulce (mild sweet paprika)

1tsp ground toasted cumin seeds

½ tsp ground toasted coriander seeds

Pinch of saffron

½ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon/red wine vinegar – or more to taste

Ground hot red chilli pepper (optional)


To make the carrots: Chop the carrots into irregular 2” chunks and put into a saucepan over a medium heat with the ¼ cup of EVOO. Stir and cook until the carrots start to brown on the edges. Nancy says to cover the carrots with red wine or water and cook partially covered until just tender – 10-15 minutes. I added enough red wine to cover the bottom of the pan, put the lid on and kept an eye on them, topping up the wine as needed for 10 minutes but that’s because I couldn’t bear the thought of then draining away the red wine!  CarColChermoula

To make the chermoula: Chop the garlic, coriander and parsley together to make a very fine mince. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the harissa, salt (I used a little less than ½ tsp), paprika, cumin and coriander (I just used ground rather than grinding my own). Crumble the saffron into the mixture and beat in the oil and lemon (I used apple vinegar as it’s all I had apart from balsamic which I thought would be too strong). Taste and adjust the seasoning adding more harissa or some chilli pepper if liked but be careful not to overpower the flavour of carrots.  CarColPlate

Assembly: Nancy says to drain the carrots and while still hot pour the chermoula over. Stir gently and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes before adding the cooked chickpeas and spicy greens if using. However, I didn’t drain the carrots, as explained earlier, but added the chickpeas to the pan and then stirred in the chermoula and left to cool before serving. It tasted absolutely delicious and the chickpeas had also soaked up some of the chermoula flavours. It’s up to you which method you choose. If you find an easier method that tastes as good, do let me know though, I’m all for ease of preparation! (And yes, I used precooked chickpeas – although in Spain they come in a glass jar and are much more like home cooked)

I hope you’ve enjoyed receiving these daily EVOO recipes as much as I’ve enjoyed testing, tasting and sharing them.  Please do comment and send me pics if you’ve tried any of them.  Next week, we’re back to normal – only one blog – which is a relief, it’s hard this virtual work you know!  Coming soon I’ve got a review of three wonderful AOVE’s (Extra Virgin in Spanish!) from Ya En Tu Casa, a magnificent deli in Vejer where you can be enthused by the fabulous owners Claudia and Diego, sample various products and they’ll even ship them home for you.  Watch this space!

Hasta pronto chicos,