We have been playing around with a few meat free dishes, such as our slow roasted caramelised fennel dish and our roasted cauliflower with truffle oil and toasted flax seeds. But although we like vegetarian food our experience is limited. Finding the book “Charred” by Genevieve Taylor seemed like a great opportunity therefore to explore some different vegetarian dishes and gain some inspiration. That they were targeted at cooking on a BBQ was a clear advantage for us. The plan, therefore, has been to take some of these dishes from the book and describe how we used them and where necessary adapted them for use on the Big Green Egg – the credits for the inspiration and the original recipes must however go to Genevieve Taylor!!
Grilled Peppers with chickpeas, tomatoes black olives and Harissa yoghurt was the first to grab our attention. However, as we were in Italy a little invention was called for as we could not find any Greek yoghurt. There was even less chance of us finding Harissa paste!! Other than that though the dish was quite straightforward and almost followed the book recipe directly. A large pepper was halved lengthways, the seeds were removed together with any small bits of core. The Mini BGE was initially set up for direct cooking. A finely chopped white onion was sautéed in a frying pan for around 15 mins until caramalised and softened. At the end of this time 2 chopped cloves of garlic were added (more than the original recipe).
This was then transferred to a bowl to which was added the chick peas (tinned – drained and washed), black olives (stoned), the quartered tomatoes and some basil (in the absence of parsley). The mix was well seasoned with salt and pepper and a good glug of olive oil. Once all the flavours had had time to mingle, the mixture was packed tightly into the 2 halves of the pepper, pushing it well into the corners. The Big Green Egg had been transferred into indirect cooking mode and the stuffed peppers were placed directly on the grill. The original recipe suggests an oven temperature of 200C, but also suggests starting them off slowly and increasing the temperature later. We kept it very simple and cooked indirect at around 140C for around 30-40 mins. In doing this they softened beautifully and their bases charred perfectly. If the pepper was cooked but there was no evidence of charring then we had simply planned to remove the plate setter and expose the peppers to a little direct flame – but this did not prove necessary.
To finish off we had mixed a little plain yoghurt together with some mascarpone (in the absence of Greek yoghurt) and to that we added the tiniest amount of ‘Peperoncino Italiano Piccante’ instead of the Harissa. The Peperoncino is a fiery concoction of very hot chilli in olive oil – use carefully! We also left some of the yoghurt/mascarpone mix without the pereroncino …… just in case! Finally the dish was seasoned with a little more salt, pepper and olive oil and finished with some torn basil leaves and served with a small baked potato.
This is a great dish – a really good balance of tastes and textures! The combination of tomatoes, black olives and chickpeas are a truly great match. I would definitely advocate packing the mix tightly into the peppers before roasting so as to avoid any air pockets. Our minor changes to the original recipe worked perfectly. This is a really easy dish to cook and the tastes are really rewarding.
We will certainly do this dish again and report back, as well as try some of the other recipes in the book!
………… do give it a go!
Grilled Peppers, chick peas, tomatoes and black olives with yoghurt and peperoncino
Red pepper, stuffed with chick peas, black olives, sautéed onion and tomatoes served with chilli infused yoghurt
- 1 Red Pepper
- 250g Chick peas (Tinned)
- 5 baby tomatoes quartered
- Chopped onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Handful of black olives (stoned)
- Basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Yoghurt (ideally greek)
- Mascarpone (to add to plain yoghurt if can't find greek)
- Step 1 Divide a large pepper lengthways, remove the seeds and any small bits of core.
- Step 2 Sauté a finely chopped white onion for around 15 mins until caramelised for the last 2 mins add 2 chopped cloves of garlic.
- Step 3 Transfer to a bowl and add the chick peas (drained and washed), black olives (stoned), the quartered tomatoes and some basil. Season with salt and pepper and olive oil.
- Step 4 Pack the mixture tightly into the 2 halves of the pepper. Place the peppers into the Big Green Egg set up for indirect cooking. Cook indirect at around 140C for around 30-40 mins.
- Step 5 To finish mix a little plain yoghurt together with a little mascarpone and add the tiniest amount of ‘Peperoncino Italiano Piccante’.
- Step 6 Season with salt, pepper and olive oil and finish with some torn basil leaves