Walnut Pepper Dip – Hermine’s Muhammara

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes (+40 minutes if making fresh pepper paste)

COOK TIME: 0 minutes

SERVINGS: 6

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We love nutty, sweet-n-spicy deliciousness; and with Ziba’s smooth walnuts – this showstopper of a dish hailing from the Middle East ranks high on our list of favorites.  Mama Hermine shares the recipe her Armenian family made back in Lebanon.  It takes 2 cups of walnuts – but that’s a great thing as walnuts are rich in antioxidants and omega-3’s.  It’s super quick and easy to prep the night before any event.  This recipe serves 6 but can be easily adjusted to serve any number of people.  Serve with carrots or cucumber sticks, pita or crackers.  You can also add it to melted cheese on bread or into a sandwich for a delicious twist.

INGREDIENTS:

  • *4 to 6 Tbsp red pepper paste (less if using a store bought one, more if homemade – see below for instructions)
  • 2 cups Ziba Parwan Walnuts, toasted (10 min in oven at 350°F / 175°C)
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs (use gluten-free to keep this dish friendly for all)
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate syrup
  • ½ – 1 tsp cumin (depending upon how much you like)
  • ¼ tsp teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of Cayenne power
  • 1 tsp of salt (or to taste)
  • ½ cup olive oil

EQUIPMENT:

  • Food processor
  • Silicone spatula

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.  Pulse a few times, then run for 10 seconds.  Scrape down sides and run again for 10 seconds.  You do not want to puree the dip into mush but rather leave some walnut pieces to keep the dip chunky and textured.
  2. Put in a serving plate, garnish with some slivers of walnuts and peppers and refrigerate a couple of hours.
  3. Serve!

*   For Home-made Pepper Paste: halve 1-2 peppers, remove seeds, place open side down on a cookie sheet.  Set temperature at 425°F/ 220°C and bake the peppers for 18-25 min or until the tops are brown.  Remove from oven and cover in a ceramic dish for 5 min (this helps for easier removal of skin.)  Peel the skin off once cool enough to handle.  Using a hand-held emulsion blender, puree.  Home-made pepper paste has more moisture then commercial varieties, so use a bit more to get a stronger pepper flavor.

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