Carrot & Ginger Timbales with Tomato Sauce

by Susan Smith in ,

This recipe for Carrot & Ginger Timbales is very close to my heart, so as it’s Valentine’s day this Saturday, I’m thinking it’s not only a good time for me to share it with you but that it might also be just the thing to ‘ginger-up’ that special someone in your life.

Nineteen years ago it was part of a menu I devised for Sarah to compete in Junior Masterchef. She made it to the televised series but as Loyd Grossman drawled to me afterwards, “You must be really disappointed but we’ve already had a vegetarian menu go through to the finals in this morning’s cook-off!”

Sarah’s heat wasn’t scheduled for filming until the afternoon and as there was no room for two vegetarian finalists, that as they say, is show biz! They even had to edit out Rick Stein’s comment for the benefit of television viewers because during the judging (overheard in the green room because the film crew had inadvertently left the audio link ‘live’) he’d said to Julia Sawalha and Loyd Grossman “Taste that, just taste that! That’s the best vegetarian food I’ve ever eaten!!”

Sarah cooked this to perfection in-front of a camera crew at age 15, so it should be feasible for anyone to cook at home for the man or woman they most want to impress on Valentine’s day.

During this coming week I hope to put together a complete menu for dinner à deux that should give your romance an added edge. These elegant Carrot & Ginger Timbales with Tomato Sauce are the main event and should definitely dazzle with some gorgeous greens such as sugar snap peas and wilted spinach served alongside.

Carrot & Ginger Timbales with Tomato Sauce (V)

Ingredients for the timbales (Serves 2)

25g (1 oz) butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 inch fresh ginger, skinned and finely grated

350g (12 oz) carrots, coarsely grated

60ml (2 fl oz) filtered water

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 drop liquid stevia - optional

1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped

2 large organic free-range eggs, beaten

60g Gruyere cheese, finely grated

Butter for greasing

Extra coriander leaves, to garnish


Ingredients - for the tomato sauce (Serves 4)

25g (1 oz) butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 x 400g (14 oz) plum tomatoes (Mr Organic is my preferred choice)

1 tsp tomato puree

1-2 drops liquid stevia

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 dsp tomato ketchup (Mr Organic is my preferred choice)


Instructions for making the timbales

Pre-heat the oven to 190℃ / ℉ / Gas mark. 

Grease two ramekin dishes and line the bottom of each with a disc of baking parchment.  

Melt the butter in a medium pan over a moderate heat and cook the onion and ginger for about 5 minutes with the pan lid on until the onion is transparent but not coloured (I also use a disc of parchment paper - cake tin liner - pressed down on top of the vegetables to help keep the steam in and to stop them from browning).

Add the carrots to the pan and cook a further 5 minutes until tender.

Add a drop of liquid stevia, salt and pepper. Stir to combine the seasonings, then add the water and continue cooking until all the water has evaporated. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Boil a kettle of water.

When the carrot mixture has cooled, add the eggs, cheese and coriander.

Stir everything together thoroughly, then check the seasoning. 

Spoon the mixture equally into the two buttered ramekin dishes.

Cover the tops with non-stick foil and place in a small roasting pan.

Pour the hot water from the kettle around the ramekins so it comes halfway up the sides of the dishes.

Bake for 30 minutes until firm.


Instructions - for making the tomato sauce

Melt the butter in a medium pan over a moderate heat.

Add the finely chopped onion, cover with the pan lid and cook gently for about 5 minutes.

Add the can of tomatoes, breaking them up slightly with a wooden spoon.

Add the tomato puree, 1 to 2 drops of liquid stevia, sea salt and pepper.

Cover and cook gently for about 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Pour into a food processor and liquidise. Pass through a strainer into a clean pan.

Add tomato ketchup, check seasoning and gently re-heat.


To serve

Unmould the carrot and ginger timbales on to warmed dinner plates (don’t forget to remove the paper disc!)

Spoon a pool of the tomato sauce next to each timbale. Garnish with fresh coriander.


Timbales - Carbohydrate 16g Protein 17g

Tomato Sauce - Carbohydrate 5g Protein 2 g