Like most foodies and food bloggers, I have a boatload of cookbooks and recipes torn from magazines-not to mention the huge collection I have on my computer. There are so many, that I sometimes forget to look at those dishes made in cooking school. One of the things I loved about taking classes at The New School of Cooking was the choice of recipes. Interesting, fun and flavorful, they gave us a glimpse of various cuisines, as well as techniques. Year two, we concentrated on the different flavor profiles from around the world.
I was looking in my notebook for a certain old recipe the other day and fell upon this one. It’s a Lebanese dip called Muhammara. The sweetness of the roasted red pepper and pomegranate molasses offset the nutty bitterness of the walnuts. A hot chili adds to the burst of flavor. Note: Pomegranate molasses can be found in the international aisle of specialty supermarkets and at Middle Eastern markets. I love making dips. You can double or triple the recipe and it lasts for days in the fridge and you’ll always have something to serve to guests coming over to watch sports or movies. And it’s vegan, to boot! Not that I’m vegan…I’m just sayin’. (I think you got that from the other blog recipes)
Red Pepper, Walnut and Pomegranate Dip
- 2 1/2 lbs red bell peppers
- 1 to 2 small hot chilies
- 1 1/2 toasted walnuts, coarsely ground (about 6 oz)
- 1/2 C wheat crackers (use rice if gluten free)
- 2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsps pomegranate molasses
- 1/2-1 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar OR one packet stevia (my choice)
- 2-3 tbsps olive oil
- 2 tsps toasted pine nuts
- Roast, seed and peel the peppers-char on all sides directly on the burner of a gas stove, or roast at 400 degrees until blistered all over. Transfer to a paper bag for 1/2 hour or until cool enough to handle, then peel off the skin and remove seeds and stem. Roughly chop.
- In a food processor, grind the walnuts, crackers, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, cumin, slat and sugar until smooth. Add the bell peppers and hot pepper. Process until pureed and creamy. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a thin stream. If the paste is too thick, add a few tablespoons of veggie stock.
- When ready to serve transfer the dip to a serving dish. Sprinkle the pine nuts and drizzle with a touch of olive oil.
I made this the other night to watch the Yankees in the American League playoffs. The dip was delicious. The game…not so much. They lost the series to the Astros. Does this mean I have to root for the Dodgers in the World Series? Someone needs to buy me a t-shirt, then. I can’t bring myself to do it.
We’ll get ’em next year….