(Red Bell Pepper and Walnut Dip)
The Middle Eastern cuisine is filled with appetizers. Oh the mezze spreads at parties - my favorite part of any dinner. If I could live off of appetizers for the rest of my life, I so would! Now, I know that hummus is always a popular dish, but I feel like muhammara deserves just as much attention.
My all time favorite appetizer is Muhammara, a red bell pepper and walnut dip. The bell peppers have to be roasted to give it that wonderful depth of flavor. I usually buy my roasted red bell peppers to save on time - they come in a jar, preserved in a brine. You can find them at any grocery store in the jarred olives and pickles section. But, if you prefer to roast your own peppers then I say go for it! You just need to roast them slowly over open flame.
This dip is wonderful to serve with pita bread or pita chips. But my all time favorite is to serve it along side chicken kabob or roasted chicken. The two paired together is a match made in heaven. You can't go wrong with this dish, trust me! You can enjoy it with pita chips - or just spread it on everything ;) no judgement here!
Try making this for your next dinner or party. It's very easy to double or even triple the ingredients to serve a large group of people. Trust me when I say this, everyone will love this.
Muhammara (Red Bell Pepper and Walnut Dip)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1 jar roasted red bell pepper, drained*
1 cup walnuts
2/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
2 tsp pomegranate molasses
2 cloves of garlic
juice from 1/2 a lemon
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
8 walnuts, for decoration
1) In your food processor, combine red bell peppers, walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin, and salt. Pulse until your reach a grainy consistency.
2) Slowly add olive oil while pulsing. You can either add more or less olive oil depending on your preferred consistency.
3) When ready to serve, transfer to a serving plate and drizzle olive oil on top. Garnish with walnuts.
- If you can't find jarred roasted red bell peppers, you can roast two whole red bell peppers on open flame.
- You can serve this is a dip with fried pita bread chips, or with chicken kabob.