Depending upon the source you consult, this roasted red pepper and walnut dip is Armenian, Arabian, Turkish or Syrian in origin. In any case, it is healthful, delicious and a welcome addition to any mezes platter. I like to serve it with warm pita bread or cucumber slices. If you are not meat-averse, this dip can also be used as a sauce for kebabs.
Middle Eastern Walnut Dip (Muhammara)
- Food processor required
- 2 red bell peppers, roasted
- 1⁄2 cup walnut halves, toasted 125 mL
- 1⁄2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted 125 mL
- 4 green onions (white and a bit of the green parts) cut into chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 30 mL
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses 30 mL
- 1 tbsp sliced red finger chile 15 mL
- 2 tsp Aleppo pepper (or 1⁄4 tsp/1 mL cayenne pepper) 10 mL
- 2 tsp ground cumin 10 mL
- 1 tsp salt 5 mL
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil 60 m
- 1. Peel, seed and cut roasted red peppers into quarters. In food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine roasted red peppers, walnuts, pine nuts, green onions, garlic, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, finger chile, Aleppo pepper, cumin and salt. Pulse until finely chopped, about 15 times, stopping and scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary.
- 2. Add olive oil and pulse until blended and desired consistency is achieved, about 6 times. (You want some texture to remain from the walnuts.)
- 3. Transfer to a small serving bowl. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- If refrigerated, before serving, let stand at room temperature to allow the flavors to bloom, about 20 minutes.
- Makes 2 cups
- To roast peppers: Brush peppers lightly with oil and place them directly on a hot grill on a preheated barbecue, or arrange them on a baking sheet and place under a preheated broiler. Grill or broil, turning 2 or 3 times, until the skin on all sides is blackened, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Cover with a plate and let stand until cool. Using a sharp knife, lift off the skin, reserving any accumulated juices. Discard skin, stems and seeds.
- For the best flavor, toast and grind cumin seeds yourself.
Judith Finlayson https://judithfinlayson.com/