Suzi's Blog

Muhammara Once Again: Topping Off Your Protein

Last month I posted this recipe for a classic Syrian dip that can only be described as addictive. For your Super Bowl party, I heartily recommend this combination of red peppers, bread, nuts, and spices.

But, I just wanted to mention that Suzen and I have been experimenting with “non-dip” uses. We have tried muhammara on grilled steaks and chicken. The conclusion: very, very yummy. And, there’s a real side benefit here. As a condiment, muhammara is a low salt alternative to, say, steak sauces like Worcestershire sauce. You’ll get a smashingly intense flavor here that is a match for that “ping” in your mouth that comes from biting into the black crust of steak or poultry.

Muhammara or Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

Yield: serves 6 to 8 as a dip

Ingredients:

  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 1 slice of day-old sourdough bread, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • Chopped pistachios, to sprinkle
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted flatbread, roughly torn, to serve

Preparation:

Cook the peppers one at a time by skewering each one on a fork and holding it directly over a gas flame for 10-15 minutes until the skin is blackened all over. Alternatively, put them on a baking sheet and then in an oven preheated to 425°F. Cook them for about 10-15 minutes, until the skin has puffed up and blackened all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and leave until cool enough to handle.

Using your hands, remove the skin and seeds from the peppers and tear the flesh into pieces. (Avoid rinsing with water as this will remove that desired smoky flavor.). Put the flesh in a food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Process to a coarse paste. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or ideally overnight to allow the flavors to fully develop.

To serve, bring the dip to room temperature and transfer to a shallow bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios. Serve with torn toasted flatbreads. It will keep in airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Source: Home-Grown Harvest from the publisher Ryland Peters & Small

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