Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip with Pomegranate Molasses (Muhammara) from ‘Dips & Spreads’

This week, we’re spotlighting recipes from Dips & Spreads: 46 Gorgeous and Good-for-You Recipes by Dawn Yanagihara (Chronicle Books), a cookbook author and editor. Try making the recipe at home and let us know what you think!

Photo: Angie Cao

By Dawn Yanagihara

Makes about 1 ½ cups (370 g)
Serve with crackers (great with seeded or multigrain), crudités, fresh or toasted baguette slices, pita bread, pita chips
Storage: Can be refrigerated without garnish for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature, stir to recombine, and garnish before serving 

Rich, complex, sweet-tart, slightly spicy, a touch fruity

¾ cup (85 g) walnuts
4 ½ tablespoons (70 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
¼ cup (35 g) unseasoned dried bread crumbs
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (200 g) drained jarred roasted red peppers, patted dry
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish. Transfer the remaining walnuts to a food processor.

In the same skillet, stir together 1 ½ tablespoons of the olive oil and the bread crumbs. Fry the crumbs over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat; add the garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne; and mash the garlic and spices into the crumbs, allowing them to cook in the pan’s residual heat, until the garlic no longer smells raw, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to the food processor with the walnuts and let cool. Pulse ten to twelve times, until the mixture is finely ground.

Add the red peppers, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper to the food processor. Process to a thick purée, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the machine running, stream in the remaining 3 tablespoon olive oil and continue to process until the mixture is as smooth as it can be, about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if needed.

Transfer the dip to a wide, shallow bowl for serving. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.

Use the back of the spoon to swirl the surface of the dip. Coarsely chop the reserved nuts and sprinkle over the top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.  

Reprinted with permission from Dips & Spreads: 46 Gorgeous and Good-for-You Recipes

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