There are certain dishes that just pop up for me again and again. Things that I love and I keep trying variations until I find the one that becomes “my” version. I’m thinking of things like baba ghanoush and gazpacho. I tried endless variations before I settled on the Greens cookbook’s and Cook’s Illustrated’s versions respectively.
Muhummara is one of those things. What? Something you may have not even heard of and here I am tracking down the perfect recipe? Here is the thing. I love dips. Not like chips and dip (although I love those too), I mean like warm grilled pita bread and dip. If a restaurant has some kind of Middle Eastern platter, I will without question order it. I love hummus, baba ghanoush, tzatziki, and I love muhummara. Well, now I do.
I have made four or five versions of this dip and always liked it. It just never popped for me. Eralda at The Split Pea recently posted a recipe that looked a little different from the ones I have tried. I decided to make for last weekend’s lunch and everyone who tried it loved it. I served it with crackers, but it would be great with pita and Eralda says it’s terrific with cucumber. This is my new go-to recipe.
One Year Ago: Creamy Eggplant with Green Peas
Adapted from The Split Pea
I made a few changes here, mostly in method. I also cut down on the amount of garlic because I don’t like a lot of raw garlic in my dips. You can find pomegranate molasses at Whole Foods and at Middle Eastern markets – if you are lucky enough to have one of those where you live. It’s flavor adds so much to this dip, so it is worth seeking out. Along those same lines, the smoked paprika is essential here. The flavor will just not be the same with regular paprika.
3 red bell peppers
1 cup of walnuts
¾ cup of pecans
1 ½ tsp. cumin
2 tsp. sweet smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp. ground Chipotle Chile powder (or regular chile powder)
2 cloves garlic
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. of honey
2 -3 tbsp. pomegranate molasses (substitute balsamic vinegar)
Preheat the oven to 500°F. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and roast, turning occasionally, until beginning to blacken in spots, about 15 minutes total. Remove sheet from the oven and carefully wrap it in foil. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then remove the foil. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and remove the membranes, stems, and seeds from each pepper. Slice and place in food processor.
Lower the oven temperature to 350°F. Place the walnuts and pecans in a rimmed cookie sheet and toast for about 3-5 minutes until fragrant (oven temperatures vary, so make sure to keep an eye on them). Set a timer so you don’t forget about them. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool, add to the food processor along with all the other ingredients. Process until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Taste for balance of flavor, adding more salt, honey, or lemon juice as necessary. If the dip seems too thick, add more olive oil.
Keeps refrigerated for up to 3 days.