MUHAMMARA WITH PICKLED WALNUTS
Of all of those Levantine dips, Muhammara is by far my favourite. Smoky and sweet roasted red peppers are combined with tart molasses, nutty walnuts, heat from chilli and garlic and aromatic spice from cumin and coriander. It’s an unbelievable combination of sweet, smoky, spice and sour. We’ve topped this vibrant dip with some roughly chopped pickled walnuts for extra acidity and pomegranate seeds for a burst of freshness. Make a big batch – this dip only gets better after a day in the fridge.
3 Large Red Bell Peppers,
50g Walnuts, toasted
1 tbsp. Pomegranate Molasses,
2 tbsp. Olive Oil,
1 Small Garlic Clove, minced
Juice of ½ a Lemon,
2 tsp. Ground Cumin,
2 tsp. Aleppo Chilli Flakes, or 1 tsp. regular chilli flakes
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
1–2 Pickled Walnuts, roughly chopped
Pomegranate Seeds, a small handful
Parsley, a few leaves
ROASTING THE PEPPERS
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC (fan).
- Halve the red peppers and remove the core and any seeds. Place the pepper halves cut-side-down on a large baking tray and place in the oven. Roast the peppers for 30 minutes or until softened and the skin is starting to blacken and char. Transfer the roast peppers to a bowl and cover with cling-film until cool enough to handle. This will also steam the peppers a little. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the peppers. This will be easiest if the peppers are not completely cooled.
- Place the walnuts into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped into a coarse crumb. Add the roast peppers, breadcrumbs, garlic, molasses, lemon juice, spices and a good pinch of salt. Pulse until minced and chopped together but not to the point of a smooth paste – it should retain some texture. Add the olive oil and pulse a few more times to loosen. Season to taste.
- Transfer the Muhammara to a shallow bowl or plate. Top with the chopped pickled walnuts, pomegranate seeds and a few parsley leaves. Serve at room temperature.
TIP – This should keep in the fridge for several days, and will actually improve in flavour and texture after a day of chilling.