Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper – Walnut Spread) recipe

© 2022 Alanna Hale

AuthorReem Assil
The Arabic word muhammara translates literally to “something that is red,” so the trick to this dish is to choose peppers with the deepest ripe-red hue possible to create the perfect sweet pepper spread. The secret ingredient is a backdrop of sweet and tart pomegranate molasses to brighten all the other flavors. Snack on this with fresh flatbread or toss it into your pasta. There is no wrong way to eat muhammara.

Reprinted with permission from Arabiyya: Recipes from the Life of an Arab in Diaspora by Reem Assil, copyright © 2022. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

How to Make It

1

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.

2

If you are using fresh bell peppers, place them on the prepared tray. Roast the peppers until the skins are charred, about 30 minutes, turning them over once or twice. Transfer to a resealable bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap and set aside. Once cool, tear the peppers open and remove the stems, seeds, and skins.

3

Combine the walnuts and bread crumbs in a food processor and process to a cornmeal-like texture. Add the roasted peppers, garlic, molasses, lemon juice, Aleppo pepper or spice mix, salt, and cumin. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4

With the processor running, slowly add the oil and blend until the oil is completely incorporated. Adjust the salt to taste.

5

When ready to serve, scoop the pepper mixture, chilled or at room temperature, onto a serving plate. With the back of a spoon, create little divots for the oil to fall into. Drizzle with the oil and garnish with the chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and parsley.

6

The spread can be stored, ungarnished, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Ingredients

 4 large red bell peppers (about 1 ½ lbs.) or one 15-oz. can roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed
 1 ⅓ cups walnuts, plus 2 Tbsp, chopped for garnish
 ½ cup panko bread crumbs
 2 garlic cloves
 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
 1 ½ tsp Aleppo pepper or Chile-Spice Mix
 ½ tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
 ½ tsp ground cumin
 ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds (optional) for garnish
 2 tbsp chopped parsley (optional) for garnish

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.

2

If you are using fresh bell peppers, place them on the prepared tray. Roast the peppers until the skins are charred, about 30 minutes, turning them over once or twice. Transfer to a resealable bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap and set aside. Once cool, tear the peppers open and remove the stems, seeds, and skins.

3

Combine the walnuts and bread crumbs in a food processor and process to a cornmeal-like texture. Add the roasted peppers, garlic, molasses, lemon juice, Aleppo pepper or spice mix, salt, and cumin. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

4

With the processor running, slowly add the oil and blend until the oil is completely incorporated. Adjust the salt to taste.

5

When ready to serve, scoop the pepper mixture, chilled or at room temperature, onto a serving plate. With the back of a spoon, create little divots for the oil to fall into. Drizzle with the oil and garnish with the chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and parsley.

6

The spread can be stored, ungarnished, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper–Walnut Spread)

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