A delicious Middle Eastern dip, this muhammara recipe will have you coming back for more.
Muhammara is a Syrian red pepper and walnut dip that is very popular all across the Middle East, and for good reason. It is delicious! I use it much the way I use tirokafteri, and hummus, which is as a dip with vegetables or bread, or to slather in sandwiches. However, if it is part of a larger meal, I limit myself to 1/2 a serving, which is plenty of flavour on any sandwich.
This recipe does call for one thing you probably won't have in your pantry, pomegranate molasses. This can usually be found in any Middle Eastern grocery store, online (I've placed a link to it on Amazon on this page), or you can make it at home by simply simmering unsweetened pomegranate juice until it reduces by about 1/2 the volume you started with.
To ensure this is gluten-free, remember to use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
TIP: You can use either jarred roasted sweet red peppers, or choose to roast them yourself. I generally use jarred as it is less messy and time consuming.
How to roast red peppers
If you wish to roast fresh red peppers, roast them whole on a grill or in a smoker (for the best fire-roasted, smoky taste), in an oven at 425°F / 220°C, or if you have a gas cooktop, right on the flame, closely monitoring their progress. Turn them to ensure they become blackened on all sides and to test their softness.
Once the peppers are blackened and soft, transfer them to a bowl and cover with clingwrap. Let them steam in the bowl for about 10 minutes, after which you should be able to rub the skins right off. Remove the stem and seeds then cut up enough for this recipe.
Leftover red peppers can be used later in sandwiches or other dishes like red pepper hummus.
(Makes 8 servings | Serving size = 1/4 cup)
1 cup fire-roasted red peppers, roughly chopped (jarred or fresh)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup raw walnut halves
1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice from 1 medium sized lemon
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, ground
In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add the walnuts and toast, mixing frequently, until you can smell the aroma of the walnuts (about 5 minutes). Transfer the walnuts to a plate using a slotted spoon to cool.
Heat an additional 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the sauté pan then add the bread crumbs. Mix well and stir continuously as it toasts. Once the breadcrumbs turn golden brown (about 5 minutes), transfer them from the pan to a bowl and allow to cool.
To a food processor add the chopped red peppers, cooled walnuts and bread crumbs, garlic, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, spices, and remaining extra virgin olive oil. Blend until the mixture is relatively smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as required.
Transfer to an airtight container for storage in the refrigerator, or directly to a serving dish. Garnish with some additional crushed walnuts, ground pepper flakes, and olive oil if desired. Enjoy!
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 277 | total fat = 24.87g | saturated fat = 2.95g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 235.47mg | carbohydrates = 11.13g | dietary fibre = 2.45g | sugars = 3g | protein = 4.87g