Monday, April 4, 2011

Red Pepper, Walnut, and Pomegranate Dip (Muhammara)


3 large or 4 medium red bell peppers, roasted and skinned, please see instructions if you need them
¼ teaspoon smoky hot paprika, 1 red dried bird’s eye chile, deseeded and chopped, or a touch of cayenne
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1¼ cups walnuts
1/3 cup lightly toasted fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
½ teaspoon sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon hot water (I omitted)
¼ cup olive oil (I omitted)

1. Place the well-drained roasted peppers in a food processor with all the other ingredients, except for the water and olive oil. Process to a rough paste, scraping down the sides at least once. I find that the consistency is just fine without adding the water and oil. But if you want to add the oil, pour it in a slow steady stream and blend until the mixture is thick and creamy. If you don’t want to add the oil, blend the mixture until it is thick and creamy. Taste for salt and add more if necessary.
2. Allow the mixture to cool and then refrigerate. Before serving, check the seasoning and adjust as needed.
3. Serve with warm Arabic bread, pita, naan, crackers, or smear onto toasted slices of French bread. Small carrots and cucumbers are also delicious for dipping.

6-8 servings as part of a mezze selection
Adapted from Greg and Lucy Malouf’s Saha: A chef’s journey through Lebanon and Syria

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