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Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip)
Muhammara is a recipe with origins in Syria, but is also found in Palestinian, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine. The main ingredients are roasted, or dried peppers, roasted walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. It may also contain garlic, salt, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, sugar, and cumin. Not all that make this recipe include the pomegranate molasses and it is very tasty with or without this ingredient. Most recipes call for red peppers but there is no reason not to have fun and try a variety of peppers. I am not fond of green bell peppers but have made this dish with yellow and orange bell peppers.
Listed below is a recipe for making pomegranate molasses. Pomegranate molasses can be found in specialty stores or an ethnic grocer. Also you can buy roasted red peppers in the grocery store in the same area where there are olives and pickles are sold. If you have time, buy fresh peppers and roast them because there is nothing like fresh roasted peppers
- 2 7 ounce jars roasted red peppers, drained
- 3 slices firm/rustic white bread
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
- In a food processor blend together the peppers, the bread crumbs, the walnuts, the garlic, the lemon juice, the pomegranate molasses, the cumin, the red pepper flakes, and salt to taste until the mixture is smooth and with the motor running add the oil gradually.
- To make Pomegranate Molasses: Bring to boil 1 quart Pomegranate Juice, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup lemon juice and simmer on low until reduced to 1-1/3 cups.
- Roasting Red Peppers: Cut your peppers into large chunks and place on cookie sheet. Place your peppers about 4-5 inches from the broiler until the skin is all black and bubbly - about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a zip lock bag to help loosen the skins. Let them steam in the bag for 20 minutes, remove and peel the skins.
Chill for at least 2 hours and then let set to room temperature, then serve. I find that it is best to make it a day ahead to let the flavors blend. I like to serve my dip with water crackers or sliced pita bread.
The traditional way to serve this dip is with veggies pita bread or spread on toast. The dip is also garnished with mint leaves and walnuts.
Also try my Asparagus, and Bacon Quiche.
Great tasting roasted red peppers if you are not roasting your own.