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Muhammara … for the love of pomegranates

If you like roasted red peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate, then you’ll absolutely love muhammara! As part of the mezze repertoire of Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, Muhammara is usually served alongside hummus and baba ghannouj. It’s an appy staple.

Muahmmara is a hot pepper dip that originated in Aleppo, Syria. It’s a smoky-sweet-heat palate sensation. The roasted peppers add smokiness – preferably charcoal grilled, the pomegranate molasses adds the sweet-sourness, the walnuts and bread crumbs act as the thickening agents. The remainder of the seasoning is used to give it that bite while balancing the flavour profile. The flavors of this dip dance on the tongue. I dare you to stop at just one bite.

For best results, make this recipe one day ahead to allow the flavours to infuse and intensify.

4 garlic cloves, germs removed

Zest of 1 small orange

2/3 cup walnut pieces (optional)

2 large whole sweet red peppers, roasted, peeled

4 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed, OR 2/3 cup toasted bread crumbs

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

¼ c pomegranate molasses (+ sugar, if necessary – pending on molasses brand)

1 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp sea salt

Handful cilantro

¼ cup fine olive oil, more as needed to emulsify

Add all ingredients into food processor; mix while you slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Season to taste.

NOTE: Don’t over mix as the dip may become pasty and gummy.

Serve in platter and garnish with more walnuts and a splash of evoo. Great with toasted pita, beriberi or sengek bread.

Yields about 2-1/2 cups.

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