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Muhammara (Walnut and Red Pepper Spread)
(recipe, Caroline Cummins)
A popular Middle Eastern appetizer dip, muhammara always includes walnuts and red peppers, although the other ingredients can vary, from breadcrumbs (to thicken the dip) to pomegranate molasses (for a distinctive tangy sweetness).
This super-fast version, adapted from a Sunset magazine recipe, is less spicy than some, so feel free to up the heat if you prefer. Serve it as an appetizer dip, a sandwich spread, or a sauce for grilled kebabs.
- 2 cups shelled walnuts
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. dried red chile flakes
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 jar (about 16 oz.) roasted red bell peppers, drained (about 12 to 13 oz. net weight after draining)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (see Note)
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Warm pita triangles, baguette slices, or crackers, for serving (optional)
- Put the walnuts, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, and chile flakes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the walnuts are finely ground. Cut the bell peppers into several smaller pieces, then add them to the food processor along with the garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, and blitz until smooth.
- Serve in a small bowl, with the pita triangles, bread, or crackers on the side for dipping.
If you have roasted garlic on hand, squeeze several soft cloves into the dip instead of using fresh garlic.