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While it's not as well-known in the United States as its fellow Middle Eastern dips hummus and baba ghanoush, muhammara is just as delicious. With a depth coming from walnuts and roasted red peppers plus some mild spice from Aleppo pepper, it's the perfect addition to everything from a sandwich to a platter of appetizers.
Muhammara is a spicy-tart dip for flatbread made from walnuts and roasted red peppers. The name comes from the Arabic word for reddened, and the dish originated in Syria, where it often is served alongside hummus and baba ghanoush. Aleppo pepper is made from ground dried Halaby chilies; it tastes subtly of cumin and fruit, with only mild heat. Look for it in well-stocked markets and spice shops, but if you cannot find it, simply leave it out—the muhammara will still be delicious. Serve with flatbread or vegetables for dipping or use as a sandwich spread.
Don’t forget to pat the roasted peppers dry after draining them. Excess moisture will make the muhammara watery in both flavor and consistency.
Makes: 2 cups
4 teaspoons ground cumin
7-inch pita bread, torn into rough pieces
1 cup walnuts
Two 12-ounce jars roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry (2 cups)
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (optional; see note above)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, plus more to serve
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve
1. In a small skillet over medium, toast the cumin, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. In a food processor, process the pita bread and walnuts until finely ground, about 45 seconds. Add the cumin, roasted peppers, Aleppo pepper (if using), pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Process until smooth, about 45 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed.
3. Add the pomegranate molasses and lemon juice and process until combined, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, drizzle in the oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with additional pomegranate molasses and oil, then sprinkle with parsley.