This Muhammara is a Middle Eastern dip that’s made with roasted red bell peppers. It’s tangy and a little bit smoky with a tiny bit of heat. It’s totally addictive!
Fellow bloggers: tell me, has this ever happened to you? You’ve come up with an idea for a recipe, and tested the recipe. You’ve even fully photographed the food with the intent to put the recipe on the blog…but then you just kind of forget about it. Or maybe you forgot that you haven’t actually completed the blog post? That’s what happened to me with this Roasted Red Pepper Dip (Muhammara). I took these photos back in October. Then the other day, I searched my blog to find the recipe – I was sure it would be there. But nothing. I quickly checked my post drafts. Nope. I immediately blamed the internet, because it must not be my fault. Wrong again. I checked my photo folders, and there they were. One photo edited, the rest just sitting there, completely forgotten. Maybe I need a better record keeping and planning method.
Anyway, better late than never. I have made this muhammara many times. I love that it’s slightly sweet, but slightly smoky from the charred red peppers and just a little bit of heat from the cayenne. Plus the ground walnuts and bread crumbs give it a nice, thick texture. My favorite thing to dip in it is homemade pita bread (store bought is fine too if you have access to good, very fresh pita – I do not). It’s also good with veggies or crackers.
You could even make a large batch of roasted red peppers at once, and store the leftovers in the freezer for the next time you need some fresh muhammara. And yes, it does work with canned roasted red peppers (usually packed in water in a jar, you might find them near the pickles in your grocery store), but the dip might turn out a little more watery. Make sure you dry them off very well if you choose to use them.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip (Muhammara)
- 4 medium to large red bell peppers
- 1 cup walnuts toasted
- 1/4 cup bread or cracker crumbs (use gluten free bread to make your dip gluten free)
- 3 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses (see note)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon 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. Peel skin from cooled roasted pepper pieces (don't worry if there are small pieces of skin that you can't remove - your muhammara will be great as long as you remove the majority of the skin)
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor, blender or large bowl. Pulse in the food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender) to puree the ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chilled. Serve with fresh pita, pita chips, crackers and/or raw vegetables.
Muhammara Nutrition Notes:
Although muhammara is made mostly from roasted red peppers, it is still high in calories due to the generous amounts of walnuts and olive oil in the recipe. However, these are healthy sources of fat, and overall this dip is a better choice than others made with saturated fat (like cheese or dairy based dips).