When I go to a party or potluck, or when I’m having friends over. I love to serve dip. If you’ve been reading for awhile now, you will know me well enough to know that I don’t go to the grocery store deli and pick up a couple tubs, I make them! My hummus definitely makes a regular appearance, as does this one – Middle Eastern Muhammara.
It’s made with roasted red peppers, walnuts, bread crumbs, olive oil, pomegranate molasses and some spices. Pomegranate molasses can be found in the Middle Eastern section of any International grocery store or market. If you can’t find it, you can use a combination of lemon juice, molasses and honey instead.
Technically, you can use roasted red peppers from a jar, and if you’re in a rush, it does work (just make sure you dry them well, or your dip will be runny). But, it’s so much more fun to do it yourself!
You’ll prepare your red peppers by cutting off the tops and bottoms and removing the core and seeds.
Then you’ll cut the main part of the pepper into a long strip and remove the stem from the top.
All of the pepper pieces go on a baking sheet to roast under the broiler.
Keep an eye on them – they’re ready to come out when the skin is blackened and bubbled in spots. If you don’t roast them long enough, the skin will be more difficult to remove.
Once they’re done roasting, dump the peppers in a bowl and cover them up with the foil from the baking sheet and let them steam for a bit. At least long enough that they’re cool enough to handle, but the longer, the more easier the skin will come off. Then start peeling. I’ve done this many times, and haven’t found an easy way to do it. Sometimes you get a whole sheet of skin off at once – SO satisfying. Sometimes you’re picking at it forever and it doesn’t want to move. Don’t worry if there are little bits that don’t want to come off – your Muhammara will still be great.
Now that the peppers are roasted, the rest is a breeze. Just throw all the ingredients into food processor (or use an immersion blender) and blend it all up. Let it chill for a bit and it’s done.
It’s great served with fresh pita, pita chips, crackers or raw veggies (just like hummus), and also makes a good spread for sandwiches.
- 4 medium/Large red bell peppers
- 4 roasted red peppers
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- ¼ cup bread or cracker crumbs
- 3 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (see note)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- Cut tops and bottoms off the peppers. Remove Core and seeds from pepper and slice the main part of the pepper to form one long strip. Remove stem from top of peppers. Arrange all the pieces on a baking sheet covered with foil.
- Move oven rack to highest level and roast peppers under the broiler until skin becomes black and bubbled in spots (7-10 minutes).
- Remove peppers from oven and transfer to a bowl. Cover with foil and allow to steam for at least 10 minutes. (See note)
- Peel skin from cooled roasted pepper pieces.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor or bowl. Pulse in the food processor (or use an immersion blender) to puree the ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until cold. Serve with fresh pita, pita chips, crackers and/or raw vegetables.
The longer you allow the roasted peppers to steam, the easier it will be to remove the skin.