This dip's flavor is sweet-smoky-garlicky, and the walnuts lend their richness to the thick paste. This version, while not strictly traditional, gets a bit of complexity from the chipotle chile. Pomegranate molasses is pomegranate juice that has been reduced to a thick syrup. It’s worth the trip to pick up a small bottle at an Arab grocer, because once you taste the muhammara, you’ll want to make it again and again. —Robin Mather, Chicago Tribune
This recipe is by Robin Mather and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 to 2 chipotles, rinsed of any sauce clinging, stemmed, seeded
- 1 1/3 Cup walnuts
- 1/4 small onion
- 2/3 Cups toasted breadcrumbs or toasted panko
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 Cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Teaspoon paprika
- 1 Teaspoon cumin
- Coarse salt and pepper
- Pita wedges, for serving
Step 1: Heat the broiler or a grill.
Step 2: Pierce 2 red bell peppers in several places with a paring knife. Place the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet (or directly on grill grates); broil or grill, turning every couple of minutes, until the skin chars and blisters, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the peppers to a paper bag to steam until they’re cool enough to handle.
Step 3: Peel and deseed the broiled peppers; put them in a food processor with 1 to 2 chipotles (rinsed of any sauce clinging, stemmed, seeded), 1 1/3 cups walnuts, 1/4 small onion, 2/3 cup toasted breadcrumbs and 3 cloves garlic. Process until the mixture is a thick, smooth paste. With the food processor still running, dribble in 1/4 cup olive oil.
Step 4: Transfer the pepper mixture to a bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with pita wedges.