Now that the holidays are here, I am the designated dip maker for all the parties I’ve been invited to. I had found red bell peppers on sale and wanted to make something special with them.
A few months back, a KarmaFree Cooking reader mentioned me about Muhamara – a red pepper dip made with pomegranates. I started looking for recipes on the internet and learning more about it. Funny, but I found a recipe for Muhamara in my recipe book (the one I have built from magazine clippings that interest me) this version did not include the pomegranates, yet it is very tasty.
2 red bell peppers ½ a 6-inch pita bread ½ cup water 1 small garlic clove ½ cup of toasted walnuts, plus more for garnish 1 tsp paprika 1 tbs balsamic vinegar 1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling ½ tsp Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper
- Roast peppers until blackened all over under the broiler, turning with tongs as each side is blistered. I did it in a toaster oven at the highest temperature. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap; let stand about 15 minutes. Peel, and discard skins, stems, and seeds. Set peppers aside.
- Toast pita bread until crisp and golden. Break into pieces; place in a bowl, and cover with the water. Soak until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a sieve, and drain well, pressing out excess water. Set aside.
- Combine garlic and walnut pieces in the bowl of a food processor; process until fine crumbs form, about 10 seconds. Add paprika, roasted peppers and pita bread; process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add vinegar, lemon juice, oil, and salt, and season with black pepper. Pulse until combined.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Before serving, bring to room temperature. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with walnuts.
I served this dip with Wheat Thins. It was delicious. It definitely tastes better the next day when at room temperature. So plan ahead and make it the day before you’ll be serving it to guests.
This dip was also delicious served inside a sandwich, with tomatoes, lettuce and any other of your favorite fixings. Or also, you could repurpose it as a pasta sauce…