What's Your Dish? Embers and grains

Chef RJ Cooper is opening a new restaurant in early May in Uptown Charlotte called Embers & Grains.


Ember roasted carrots, green harissa, goat yogurt, and spiced cashews

For 6 guests

Ember roasted carrots:

  • 6 medium sized purple haze carrots, peeled
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • coarse sea salt


  1. Light some goals or hardwood in your outdoor grill (may be done on a gas grill).
  2. While waiting for the coals to become embers.
  3. Toss the carrots in olive oil and salt.
  4. Roast the carrots over the embers until they are charred and tender.
  5. Reserve.

Green Harissa:

  • 2 ½ cups washed and coarsely chopped escarole
  • 1c arugula
  • 1c baby spinach
  • 1c Italian parsley
  • 1/4c cilantro
  • 1/4c fresh mint
  • 3ea green onions
  • 2 Serrano peppers, roasted
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted
  • 2 ea garlic cloves
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbl ginger 
  • 3/4c olive oil
  • 1/4tsp cumin
  • 1/4tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • Fine sea salt to taste


  1. In a blender add 4 ice cubes. All all the chilies, herbs and spices and start to purée the mixture. Add the lime juice and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until smooth. Season with salt. Remove and store cold.
  2. For the goat yogurt:
  3. 1pt goat yogurt (goat cheese curd or regular yogurt can be a substitute.
  4. Strain the whey from the yogurt by placing it into a coffee filter and a fine mesh sieve until thick. (3 to 4 hours.) 

Spiced Cashews:

  • 1c cashew pieces
  • 1 tsp espelette pepper or chili powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil.


  1. In a sauté pan over medium heat slowly roast the cashews and pepper powder until in completely coats the nut. Place on a paper towel and let cool.
  2. Assemble as you would like. 
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