Monday, December 22, 2014

Muhummara -- Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip


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.!)

Lynda says:
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]

Ingredients:
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 4 roasted red peppers, peeled and seeded 
    • (I use a large, 14oz?, jar of roasted red peppers, drained well)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 - 1.5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili paste, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
    • (I use more, available at greenlife/earth fare, this stuff is amazing, tart and sweet, great on pancakes, biscuits and in cocktails)
  • 1 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup crushed plain pita chips
    • (or any cracker - including gluten free rice crackers - ritz/townhouse style are my favorite for smooth texture)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
Directions

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
Note: 
  • serve with raw veggies, crackers, etc.
  • also great as sandwich spread or with pasta.


6 comments:

Ms. A said...

Sounds like something my (grown) kids would really like!

Thérèse said...

It sounds so good and healthy that we are going to try it soon. Thks Vicky.
And enjoy the Holidays if I don't have time to come back in the next few days...

June said...

Maybe the slight difference between yours and hers was that you started with fresh peppers? ;-)
It looks beautiful, and delicious, and I salute your devotion to the cause . . . but holy moley! I don't believe I'll ever be making that.

Pomegranate molasses...

NCmountainwoman said...

I don't know how we ever cooked without the Internet. Interesting dip but lots of work involved.

Vicki Lane said...

If you buy the roasted red peppers in a jar and buy (rather than make)the pomegranate molasses, the only thing to do before dumping everything in the food processor is to roast the walnuts. I just happen to have done it the hard way. As is so often the case.

Jim Egerton said...

Sounds really good to me. I think Joan has made something similar to that. It must have some pepper bite and tartness?