Muhammara | Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip Recipe
This muhammara recipe, or roasted red pepper and walnut dip, combines sweet red peppers with toasted walnuts and pomegranate molasses for an addicting and delicious recipe perfect for your next sandwich, snack, or holiday appetizer.
Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
There is a version of muhammara in most Middle Eastern cuisines. In this particular recipe, I use jarred roasted red peppers (although fresh is definitely possible, see recipe notes), and it is quick to throw together once the ingredients are prepared. I process the muhammara in the food processor to a point where it’s still slightly chunky, rather than completely smooth. Use as a dip with your favorite breads, crackers, or cut veggies, or as a sandwich spread. Chop ingredients by hand, or with a mortar and pestle, if no food processor is available.
Key Ingredients: Pomegranate Molasses and Aleppo Pepper
Pomegranate molasses is a syrup made from pomegranate juice boiled down into a thick syrup-y consistency. It is sweet and tart in flavor. Pomegranate molasses is used in many middle eastern dishes, and is worth having on hand. A bottle of pomegranate molasses lasts awhile, and a little bit goes a long way. It can be purchased at a large well-stocked grocery store, a middle-eastern grocery, or online here. Aleppo pepper is a pepper originally grown in Aleppo, Syria, but is now grown in parts of Turkey and China. There are a few varieties of Aleppo pepper, but the one recommended here has a not too spicy, slightly smoky flavor profile. A combination of smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes could substitute if you don’t have any Aleppo pepper on hand.
A version of this sweet and savory dip can be found throughout many middle eastern cuisines.
- 1 head garlic, (about 10 cloves)*
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts
- 1 16 oz. jar roasted red peppers**
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon pomegranate molasses***
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper flakes****
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Wrap head of garlic in aluminum foil and place in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until garlic cloves are soft. Remove from oven and let cool.
Spread walnuts out on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5-7 minutes, until browned and fragrant. Remove from baking sheet and cool.
Drain roasted red peppers and put in food processor bowl. Squeeze garlic cloves from their skins and place in food processor along with cooled walnuts, and salt. Pulse until ingredients are incorporated, but still chunky.
Pour in lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes. With the motor running, add olive oil and process until it's the consistency you want it, either smooth, or slightly chunky, your choice!
Serve in a bowl, garnished with 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes, alongside your favorite dippers, such as pita bread or chips, sliced veggies, or crackers.
*If you don't wish to roast garlic, just use 1-2 cloves fresh garlic instead.
**Fresh red bell peppers may also be used. Roast peppers on grill or directly over gas flame on the stove. Once blackened, place in a large bowl, and cover with a plate that fits snugly. Steam the peppers for 10-15 minutes, and when cool enough to handle, remove blackened skin. DO NOT RINSE. Remove seeds and stems and proceed with recipe.
***This is a key ingredient for this recipe, but an aged (thick) balsamic vinegar may be used as a replacement.
****If you don't have Aleppo pepper flakes on hand, substitute crushed red pepper flakes or smoked paprika. Go slowly with the amount though, as crushed red pepper can be much spicier than Aleppo pepper.