This muhammara, or red-pepper-pomegranate molasses-walnut spread from Paula Wolfert, is a classic and beloved dish. Spread it everywhere.
This is one of the outstanding dips of the eastern Mediterranean, as delicious and striking as the far more famous hummus and baba ghanoush. Try it with meat or fish kabobs, or simply with crisp pita or warmed, floppy lavash. The dip will keep for one week in a closed container in the refrigerator, improving a little each day. Remember to return the dip to room temperature before serving.–Paula Wolfert
LC Paula Wolfert Note
Who are we to argue with Paula Wolfert? You heard what she had to say. So go on. Into the kitchen with you.
Muhammara ~ Red Pepper-Walnut Spread
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 50 M
- Makes about 3 cups
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet red bell peppers
- 1 small hot chile pepper or 1 tablespoon Turkish red pepper paste
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 1/2 cup wheat crackers or zweibach
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, more for garnish
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, more for garnish
- 1. Roast the peppers and chili over a gas burner or under a broiler, turning frequently, until blackened and blistered all over, about 12 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam for 10 minutes. Rub off the skins, slit thepeppers open, and remove the stems, membranes, and seeds. Spread the peppers, smooth side up, on a paper towel and let drain for 10 minutes.
- 2. In a food processor, grind the walnuts and crackers with the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, cumin, salt, and sugar until smooth. Add the bell peppers and process until puréed and creamy.
- 3. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Add chile to taste. If the paste is too thick, thin with 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- 4. To serve, let the dip come to room temperature and sprinkle with cumin and olive oil.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This is an unusual and delicious dip that’s substantial enough to be used as a spread. It’s excellent on pita chips, crackers, and vegetables.The vibrant color is a bonus, too. Add heat carefully so the pepper and pomegranate flavors can stand out and don’t get lost. A tip: Cool the roasted peppers in a sealed plastic bag to make peeling and seeding them very easy. I recommend processing the crackers alone until they’re very finely ground before adding the walnuts; this gives the dip a pleasant graininess that is not too chunky. A versatile recipe that is always well-received.