Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip (Muhummara)
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, halves and pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- * Pomegranate molasses can be found in the international aisle of specialty supermarkets and at Middle Eastern markets.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Roast the red peppers. Place each bell pepper over the open flame of a gas burner or grill, cooking until the skin blackens and blisters. Rotate the peppers and blacken all the way around, about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can roast the peppers in the oven by placing the bell peppers on a baking sheet and placing under the broiler, turning frequently, until the peppers are blackened and blistered all over. Put the blackened peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to steam.
Toast the walnuts. Spread the walnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pop into the oven until light golden brown and aromatic, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Peel the red peppers using a paring knife. Discard the peels, stem and seeds. Throw the roasted red peppers, walnuts, garlic, paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and olive oil into a food processor with a teaspoon of salt, and run until the dip is smooth. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Cool and serve.
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