Smooth, thick, and layered with flavor, this mildly spicy dip of roasted red bell peppers and toasted walnuts is thickened with finely ground crispy breadsticks. Pomegranate molasses adds a piquancy that plays off the sweetness of the juicy roasted bell peppers, and spicy pepper paste brings just a touch of heat. This dip is delicious on pitas with League of Kitchens instructor Jeanette Chawki's grilled Lahem Meshwy (Lamb Shish Kebabs) and fresh, crunchy Biwaz (Parsley and Onion Salad), or serve it with fresh vegetables for dunking.

By Jeanette Chawki
July 2021

Gallery

Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Recipe Summary test

active:
25 mins
total:
45 mins
Yield:
4 to 6
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Trim and discard tops and bottoms from bell peppers. Cut each trimmed bell pepper lengthwise into 4 equal pieces; remove and discard ribs and seeds. Toss together bell pepper pieces and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl. Arrange pepper pieces, skin side up, in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer roasted bell peppers to a medium bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature to steam until completely tender and cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard skins from bell peppers; set bell peppers aside. Reserve any juices in bowl.

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  • Process breadsticks in a food processor until finely ground. Pass finely ground breadsticks through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs in a small bowl; reserve any remaining breadcrumbs and large unsifted crumbs for another use. Process 1 cup walnuts in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Place ground walnuts in a separate small bowl; set aside. Pulse onion and garlic in food processor until well combined and finely minced, stopping to scrape down sides as needed, 3 to 5 pulses. Add roasted bell peppers and reserved juices to food processor; process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed, about 1 minute. Add ground walnuts, reserved 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, spicy pepper paste, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, cumin, paprika, and Aleppo pepper; process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add tahini, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup oil; process until smooth and thick, stopping to scrape down sides as needed, about 30 seconds. 

  • Scoop muhammara onto a plate, and smooth out into an even circle. Using the back of a large spoon, swirl just inside the border to create a shallow moat, keeping the middle slightly mounded. Arrange 10 walnuts around border, and place remaining 1 walnut in the middle. Garnish with a drizzle of oil.

Make Ahead

Muhammara may be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Note

Find spicy pepper paste, pomegranate molasses, and Aleppo pepper at Middle Eastern grocery stores or online at kalustyans.com.

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