muhammara recipe (turkish red bell pepper and walnut dip)
I know those holiday parties are coming up and I thought another hors d’oeuvre post would be helpful. My good friend Cheryl gave me this recipe. She is an outstanding cook and everything she makes is a home run. I love the fact that this dip is mostly roasted red bell peppers and walnuts and it is easy-peasy to put together. A bonus is that it tastes better if you make it ahead and we all know how much I like to prep in advance. You can certainly use jarred roasted peppers or the ones that you can find in some deli cases, but I find (no surprise, I’m sure) that the ones you make at home taste so much better. Maybe it’s all that love that goes into them!
A note about the pomegranate molasses: I try not to use ingredient that are expensive, hard-to-find or that have a short shelf-life. I found pomegranate molasses easily at my local Whole Foods and it cost only about $4. Also, it lasts for a long time, so I didn’t hesitate to keep it on the ingredient list. However, if you can’t find any and you don’t live close enough to me to borrow it, you can add a drop of raw honey and some extra lemon juice to mimic the tart-sweetness that pomegranate molasses brings to the dish.
Here I am serving it with endive leaves and gluten-free sweet potato chips, but feel free to go with the traditional pita or other raw vegetables.
Makes 2 cups
1 ½ cups raw walnuts
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped, about 1 ½ cups or 1 12-ounce jar
¼ cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste
2 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses plus more to taste
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
A few shots of hot sauce or ¼ teaspoon ground red chiles, or to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Toasted pita, your favorite chips or endive leaves
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, add the walnuts and bread crumbs. Process until finely chopped.
- Add the roasted peppers and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients (except the pita) and blend.
- Taste and adjust with more oil, molasses and/or salt.
- Refrigerate, covered until ready to serve. The flavors will come together as the dip sits. Serve with pita, chips or endive leaves.
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