A sweet, nutty, and earthy spread…
Everyone knows hummus and maybe baba ganoush, but do you know its spicy cousin – muhammara dip? It’s a red bell pepper and walnut spread that’s delicious served right next to those Middle Eastern staples as a pita and vegetable dipper. But muhammara is even more versatile than that. We love it as a unique pesto alternative for pastas – sweet, nutty, and earthy, with a definite kick of spice. Or try it as a sandwich spread to liven up a vegetable or turkey sandwich.
Aleppo pepper flakes would be the authentic spice for muhammara, but they aren’t always easy to find. Crushed red pepper works, too (to simply provide a comparable heat) or you can try one of these other alternatives.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper flakes or crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- Lightly toast the walnuts and place to the side.
- Destem the bell peppers and cut them in half. Remove the seeds and membrane.Slice the peppers in half lengthwise, then place each half on a foil-lined sheet (cut side facing down).
- Broil the peppers until the skin is lightly charred, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the peppers from oven and, using tongs, place each pepper half into a large sealable Ziploc bag. Seal the peppers in the bag and place the bag to the side until the peppers have cooled (another 10 to 15 minutes). This is to loosen the skin for peeling the peppers.
- Remove the peppers from the Ziploc and peel the skin off the peppers, leaving any small charred section not easily peeled in place (they provide a little earthy flavor).
- Place the peppers, toasted walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, bread crumbs, pomegranate molasses,, pepper flakes, and cumin into a food processor.
- Blend while slowly drizzling in olive oil. Process the dip to your desired consistency.
- Transfer the dip to a bowl and serve immediately. Or allow the dip to chill for one or more hours to allow the flavors to set.