MUHAMMARA (Middle Eastern red pepper and walnut spread, about 2 cups)


In Arabic, muhammara means brick colored, exactly the color of this dish from Aleppo.

a 7 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained

2/3 cup fine, fresh bread crumbs

1/3 cup walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped fine

3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed with ½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried, hot, red pepper flakes

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pita toasts as accompaniment

1. In a food processor, blend together the peppers, bread crumbs, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt to taste until the mixture is smooth. With the motor running, add the oil gradually.

2. Transfer the muhammara to a bowl and serve at room temperature with the pita toasts.

from Gourmet Magazine, December, 1993

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