Muhammara a flavorful red bell pepper dip
As the bell pepper season is approaching, I was reminded of this recipe for Muhammara from Margaret, a dear friend and customer.
Muhammara — also pronounced mhammara, which means red color — originates from Aleppo, Syria, and is quite popular in the Middle East. What makes this dip unique is the unusual combination of spices and ingredients that are used.
For instance, pomegranate molasses provides a unique sweet and sour taste, which makes it a signature dish. Muhammara can be used as a dip, a spread for crostini or a sauce for grilled fish or meats.
At Café Collage, we will be serving muhammara as part of an appetizers assortment of three dips, including spicy hummus dip and smoked eggplant dip, for the summer season.
6 to 8 large red bell peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon harissa
1⁄4 cup chopped walnut
1⁄4 cup tahini
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon local honey
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1-2 cups breadcrumbs (add more if needed)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the bell peppers with a drizzle of olive oil in a baking pan and roast them for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the skins are mostly blackened.
Once roasted, place the roasted bell peppers in plastic bags and tie closed. This well help take the skin off more easily. Place the skinned peppers in a bowl. Remove the seeds.
Add the peppers along with the rest of the ingredients together in a blender or a Vita Mix and process until the mixture is extra smooth. If the consistency is runny, add more breadcrumbs.
Serve the muhammara dip at room temperature or refrigerate before serving with toasted pita bread or crostini.