Muhammara


  • 1 1/2 pounds red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, shelled and ground
  • 3 tablespoons quality bread crumbs or sesame cracker crumbs
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons pomegranate molasses (preferably Cortas brand, available at Middle Eastern grocers)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili paste (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Roast the peppers over gas or under the broiler, turning until blackened and blistered all over. Place in a bag to soften for 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Slit the peppers open and remove the membranes, stems, and seeds. Skin and leave to drain.

Meanwhile, combine the walnuts and bread crumbs in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the bell peppers, lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses and blend until creamy. Add the chile paste, adjust the seasoning, and scrape into a 2-cup storage jar. Chill overnight to allow flavors to mellow.

When ready to serve, scrape dip into a serving dish. Decorate with ground cumin and drizzle of olive oil.

Yield: 6 servings