A smoky sweet mixture of roasted red peppers, walnuts and spices goes into making this luscious muhammara.
A couple times recently people have asked me what I do for a living. I didn’t really think about being asked this question when I decided to ditch being a lawyer in favor of this, but I guess it’s one of those questions people ask, so duh.
“I’m a professional blogger.” That’s what I told them, because I couldn’t think of much else to say. And don’t even get me started on explaining to people that chose professional blogger over lawyer.
So I went to law school to publish recipes on the internet. Sometimes I like to do things the hard way.
And sometimes I have more fresh red bell peppers than I can come up with a practical use for.
Just about every recipe I’ve ever come across for muhammara calls for jarred roasted red peppers. I’m not sure how authentic that method of making it is, but it’s easy, so it’s got that going for it. My method takes a little more time. But I’m guessing anyone that’s got some red peppers planted in their backyard garden will have good use for a muhammara recipe that calls for fresh roasted red peppers. Also, it’s just better this way: see how thick and luscious it came out?! You know you want to make it!
And maybe a few of you are scratching your heads as to what muhammara even is. I promise you want to know. In addition to the red peppers it’s made with walnuts, breadcrumbs, scallions and pomegranate molasses. It’s like hummus’s sweeter, smokier, super awesome cousin. Serve it with some pita bread and it’ll be the perfect snack at your summer get-togethers.
Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip)
- 1 3/4 pounds fresh red peppers about 3 to 4 peppers
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 1 cup shelled walnuts
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Additional olive oil
- Chopped parsley
- Pita bread
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the peppers in half and remove the stems and seeds. Lightly rub the peppers with about 2 teaspoons of oil and arrange them on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Bake until the skins begin to blister and brown, about 45 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven and allow them to sit until they're cool enough to handle.
- When the peppers are cool, gently peel off the skins (it's okay if you miss some spots. I did!).
- Place the peppers into the bowl of a food processor, along with 1/4 cup of olive oil, the walnuts, scallions, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth, then taste test, season with salt, and adjust any other seasonings to your liking.
- Add in the panko breadcrumbs and pulse just until incorporated. The mixture should be nice and thick.
- Scoop the mixture into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with pita bread.