Syrian in origin, muhammara is a spicy red pepper dip. It’s delicious with raw or blanched vegetables, sliced baguettes, pitas or other flat bread. You can also use it as a sauce for kebabs, or spread it on your favorite sandwich. Once you make it you’ll be hooked!
Most recipes for muhammara include lemon juice, but I used red wine vinegar and liked the tangy kick. Another traditional ingredient is pomegranate syrup — I used POM juice instead. My final substitution was some sambal oelek in place of a fresh hot pepper. You can use any hot pepper sauce you prefer.
One more thing: toasting nuts is precarious business — I swear, you look away for two seconds and they’re a charred, smoking disaster. Not that I would know anything about that. Anyway. Watch your walnuts like a hawk, shaking them often to insure even toasting.
1 C. walnut halves
1 12oz jar roasted red peppers
2 tbsp. whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp. 100% pomegranate juice
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. sambal oelek
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. cumin
olive oil and parsley for garnish (optional)
1. In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the walnut halves until they start to get a little bit shiny and take on a light brown toasty color. Remove from skillet immediately to avoid burning and let cool for a few minutes.
2. In a food processor, combine the toasted walnuts and the rest of the ingredients. Process for about a minute, or until smooth.
3. If serving as a dip, garnish with olive oil and parsley.