I know I’m going to offend a lot of people if I say I’m just not that into hummus. HOW CAN YOU NOT BE INTO HUMMUS?! The angry hummus mob would cry, pitchforks and torches a-blazin’. WHAT KIND OF FOODIE-SCUM HATES HUMMUS?! They would demand. But of course in a hypothetical world, where I hypothetically do not like hummus, because, let’s say, hypothetically, I find it a little too powdery-starchy-ey and I didn’t really like the taste of chickpeas on it’s own, I would one day discover a similar, healthy, vegan dip called Muhammara, that I thoroughly enjoy because I find the flavour more interesting. Hypothetically.
Muhammara is a delicious spread originating from Syria, that can also be found in Turkish cuisine. Traditionally, it is made from roasted walnuts, roasted sweet red peppers and aleppo peppers, and has a wonderful tangy, nutty flavour. My recipe features red piquillo peppers instead of sweet peppers, adding lemon zest and pomegranate molasses for a nice tangy sweetness and smoked paprika for a hint of that deep, dark smokey flavour. I enjoy muhammaras that are on the thicker side, and use it as a spread for sandwiches or a dip for pita bread or tortillas. For those who want a thinner consistency, add (up to) another 1/4 cup of olive oil.
For a nice appetizer, I’ve assembled warmed Greek pita triangles, spread them with the wonderful muhammara, and topped it with a dollop of honeyed Greek yogurt, toasted walnuts and a light drizzle of honey. Easy peasy, hor d’oeuvres ready. So here you are, another Nommy Noms recipe. Enjoy!
Makes about 1 Cup
- 3 large red piquillo peppers, roasted, seeded and peeled (may use jarred ones)
- 2/3C panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
- 1/3C walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped fine
- 1Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 3tsp pomegranate molasses
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1tsp lemon zest
- 1tsp salt
- 1t sugar
- ¼C olive oil (add up to another ¼ C for a thinner consistency)
The Fun Part:
- To roast peppers, preheat oven to 500F. Cut piquillo peppers in halve and de-seed. Place peppers on a cookie sheet, skin side up. Pop peppers in the oven, and roast until the skin blisters and chars. Quickly transfer charred peppers into a small bowl and cover with cling film or a tea towel. Let it cool until safe to handle. Peel off charred skin. Your peppers are ready to be muhammara-fied!
- Food processor method: Put all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor and puree for about 30 seconds. Add oil in a stream with the motor running until incorporated.
- Inversion blender method : Blend all wet ingredients together. In a separate bowl, combine all dried ingredients. Pour blended wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well. Apply the inversion blender until the mixture blends into a thick paste the consistency of hummus.
Honeyed Muhammara Pita Wedges
- 1 Recipe of Muhammara (above)
- 2-3 rounds of Greek Pita
- ¼ C of honeyed Greek yogurt (or just add honey to plain greek yogurt) [omit for vegan recipe]
- A few toasted walnut halves
- Runny honey
The Fun Part:
- Sprinkle Greek pita with a bit of water and toast in the oven till warm (Try 2 mins at 350F).
- Cut Greek pita rounds into triangles and spread generously with muhammara dip.
- Add a dollop of honeyed Greek yogurt and top with a roasted walnut halve.
- Drizzle with honey. Serve.