Sweet peppers always come abundantly into summer, popping up daily in the garden, on the farm, and in CSA boxes. Muhammara is a smooth yet chunky pepper dip with roots in Syria. Its sweet-yet-smoky disposition works wonderfully in an appetizer or light, simple meal at the end of a hot summer day. Spread inside grilled corn tortillas filled with avocado, sunflower sprouts, and chevre for taco night, pile atop toasted bread as a makeshift bruschetta, or mix into hummus to scoop up with cucumber slices.
Servings: 2 hefty cups
- 3 red bell peppers
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1½ cups walnuts toasted
- Zest and juice from ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
Seed and chop the bell peppers. In a skillet over medium heat, add a touch of olive oil and cook the peppers until the skins start to blister. Season with salt and set aside to cool slightly.
In a dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds until fragrant and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder.
Add all the ingredients, and blend together in a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend it until completely smooth and velvety or leave it a little chunky. Adjust seasonings as needed. Add more lemon juice for balanced acidity, cumin for more earthiness, honey to sweeten, red pepper flakes for spice, or smoked paprika for smokiness. Add a touch more salt if you just can’t put your finger on what it needs.
HOW TO USE
- Tacos: spread inside grilled corn tortillas and top with avocado, sunflower sprouts, and chevre
- Dip: scoop as is with raw veggies or mix into hummus before scooping
- Bruschetta: grill bread slices and spread with muhammara to make a bruschetta appetizer or light meal with a green salad
- Grain bowls: use as a chunky sauce for a summer grain bowl
- Eggs: serve savory brunch-style poached eggs on a bed of muhammara with toast points