A lot has happened since I last posted a recipe. We moved and renovated and the renovations made it impossible to cook anything fun. But we are done and the house looks lovely. So here I am with Muhammara, a roasted red pepper and walnut dip. Except I did not have red peppers and used yellows ones instead. The original recipe is from Saveur, but I made several changes: I switched out the pomegranate molasses, which I rarely have in the pantry for 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar and 1/2 tsp of sugar. I also added 2 garlic cloves instead of one and one thai bird pepper for zing. Finally I did not fry the bread, I figured the bread was stale and hard and would do just fine without toasting. In a separate batch I omitted the bread entirely, this tasted great as well. My favorite way to eat this is with pita chips. Health food, I know.
2 red bell peppers (or any other color bell pepper)
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice white bread
1 cup toasted walnuts
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 1⁄2 tsp. Aleppo pepper or hot paprika (I used Hungarian sweet paprika)
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar (the original called for 2 tsp pomegranate molasses)
1/2-3/4 tsp sugar or to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled
salt to taste
1. Stem and broil peppers (4″ away from the heating element) until charred all over (you will have to turn them 2-3 times). The original recipe says this will be done in 15-20 min. Mine took 30 min.
2. Transfer peppers to a bowl, cool and peel (you could seed them if you want, but I don’t). The peeling goes faster if you place the peppers in a ziplock bag and sweat the peppers for a bit. I never do since I hate wasting plastic.
3. Put all ingredients in a food processors and pulse till smooth. Taste and adjust salt.