When visiting Anaheim, CA a couple of months ago, I ate lunch at Uva Wine Bar in Downtown Disney. We had a variety of wonderful tapas, but one I just couldn't get out of my mind was a dip called Muhammara. It was served with pita bread, and I knew it contained roasted red peppers, but I didn't know what else. I looked up on Wikipedia the history of Muhammara, and here's what it says:
"Muhammara is a hot pepper dip originally from Aleppo, Syria and now found in many places in Anatolia and the Levant. The principal ingredients are usually fresh or dried peppers, ground walnuts, breadcrumbs, and olive oil. It may also contain garlic, salt, lemon juice, pomegranate syrup, and sometimes spices (e.g. cumin). It may be garnished with mint leaves. Muhammara is eaten as a dip with bread or a spread for toast. It is also enjoyed as a spicy sauce for kebabs, grilled meats and fish. Muhammara is referred to as Acuka in western Turkey while southeastern regions call it Muhammara.
I went to Epicurious and found a recipe I tried today. It was a great dip. I did adapt the recipe, which I'll note my changes after the recipe. Try this recipe-you won't be sorry.
Gourmet | December 1993
Yield: Makes about 1 3/4 cups
7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
2/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped fine
2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
toasted pita triangles as an accompaniment
*available at Middle Eastern markets
Preparation: In a food processor blend together the peppers, the bread crumbs, the walnuts, the garlic, the lemon juice, the pomegranate molasses, the cumin, the red pepper flakes, and salt to taste until the mixture is smooth and with the motor running add the oil gradually. Transfer the muhammara to a bowl and serve it at room temperature with the pita triangles.
NOTE: I doubled the recipe. I did not use jarred peppers. I roasted my own and then measured 14 oz. It was 3-4 red peppers. I used the stated amount for the bread crumbs, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and red pepper flakes. I used a little more pomegranate molasses, maybe 5 teaspoons. The big change was in the oil-I used only 1/3 cup for a double recipe. You could use more than that, but I wouldn't use anywhere close to the full amount called for-it just doesn't need it.