This is the great dip one of the members of my writing workshop brought to our last class meeting. I emailed her to ask for the recipe and when I didn't hear back, I found a recipe on The Food Network (HERE) and followed it exactly -- even to the fiddly business of roasting the peppers and scraping (most of) the skin off.
One of the ingredients is pomegranate molasses -- which my local grocery doesn't have -- so I bought some pomegranate juice and made my own, thanks to another RECIPE on the internet. It was simple -- add some lemon juice and sugar and boil till reduced and syrup-like.
I made it the day before I made the dip and when I took my little jar of home-cooked pomegranate molasses out of the refrigerator, it had hardened till a spoon bounced off the surface.
Despair! And cursing! But I added a little water, stuck the jar in the microwave, and hoorah! there was a thick, spoonable syrup.
After that it was just a matter of throwing all the ingredients into the food processor.
It was as tasty as I remembered (but not quite the same.) And it has the advantage of being gluten free and vegan, making it acceptable to people with all manners of food constraints.
Then I got an email from my student with her recipe. She is in Costa Rica and, as she put it, has been 'gloriously off-line.' This is her version. (Thanks, Lynda W.!)
Unfortunately, I don't have access to my recipe (adapted from a version provided by Reza (an Asheville restaurant) ) but I found this version online that is pretty close as I recall. The main thing is to play with it until it tastes good to you. When there is a range in amount, use the least and add to taste. Note: the garlic flavor blossoms after a couple of hours so don't add too much at the beginning.
Muhammara (mu-HUMM-a-da) or [moo-hahm-MRAH]
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
In food processor:
- blend walnuts thru garlic until well-mixed
- add crackers, blend until smooth
- season with salt and adjust heat, sweetness, spice, tartness, and texture by increasing other ingredients
- let sit at least 3 hours
- serve with raw veggies, crackers, etc.
- also great as sandwich spread or with pasta.