Muhammara: Spicy Walnut & Pomegranate “Salad”

Muhammara is a spicy walnut and pomegranate "salad," about the consistency of Hummus.
Muhammara is a spicy walnut and pomegranate “salad,” about the consistency of Hummus.

Muhammara (Arabic for “reddened”) wasn’t one of my original group of salads. I have a customer to thank for this delicious suggestion. Although it’s a classic Middle Eastern combination of ingredients, I hadn’t heard of it until someone asked for it when we catered their wedding. I tried a few different versions and finally settled on this one. Muhammara became a great favorite in my Cafe!

Muhammara is originally from Syria but is enjoyed throughout the Middle East and Turkey.

MUHAMMARA (makes about 2 cups)
Ingredients

  • Walnuts, 2 cups
  • Pomegranate molasses, 4 TB
  • Red Bell Peppers, 4 large, roasted
  • Garlic, 2 cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup
  • Pita crumbs, dried/toasted, 1/2 cup
  • Cumin, 2 tsp.
  • Crushed red pepper, 2 tsp.
  • Tomato paste, 2 TB
  • Salt, 1 tsp.

Procedure

  1. Roast the peppers under a broiler until the skin is dark brown/blackish all the way around. Set aside to cool.
  2. Bread crumbs will work for this. I prefer to use my whole wheat Lebanese pita croutons (that I make for Fatoush). Sometimes I just put a whole piece of Lebanese pita into a low oven until it is thoroughly dry, then break off what I need for the Muhammara and save the rest for when I make Fatoush.
  3. Add all ingredients except the peppers to a food processor.
  4. When the peppers are sufficiently cooled, peel and remove the stems. The skins should slip off easily if they are well-roasted.
  5. Grind until smooth, or at least just slightly grainy from the walnuts.
  6. Garnish with additional pomegranate molasses/syrup and walnuts.

Enjoy as a dip with Pita or veggies. This unusual (although classic in the Middle East) blend of flavors will delight you, your family and your friends.

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