Middle Eastern

A Fresh & Bright, Non-Guacamole Dip for the Middle of Winter

February  5, 2016

If you aren't familiar with the roasted red pepper dip muhammara, it's time to get acquainted. It's earthy and smoky, with just the right level of spice. Amazing smeared on bread or pita, it also makes a great dip for vegetables.

My version uses jarred roasted red peppers, which makes it perfect for these dull winter months when fresh local produce isn't available. It also makes it super quick to whip together on a whim.

You can play with the spice levels, adjusting them up or down to suit your individual taste. We love Aleppo pepper, so there's a good, healthy dose in this version. The texture can also be adjusted by changing the mixing method. We like to make ours in the food processor for a chunkier, heartier dip, but you could alternatively use a blender for silky-smooth perfection.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Drain and rinse peppers, then layer them between paper towels to dry while preparing other ingredients.

Photo by Heather St. Pierre

Mound breadcrumbs on one half of a baking sheet and spread walnuts on the other half; roast for 5 to 10 minutes to slightly dry the crumbs and toast walnuts. Remove the nuts to a cutting board to cool, then put them in the food processor and pulse to finely chop.

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Add peppers and remaining ingredients, starting with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse 10 to 15 times until desired consistency is reached, adding more oil if needed.

Photo by Heather St. Pierre

Transfer to bowl and cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to let the flavors blend. Adjust seasoning and serve at cold or at room temperature with pitas, toasted bread, or raw vegetables for dipping.

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1 Comment

HalfPint February 8, 2016
I love this dip. The first time I ate it, I had to really refrain from licking the bowl clean (we were at a local restaurant). Once you eat it, you may never look at hummus the same way again.