Sunday, February 20, 2011


I was looking for something vegetarian and a little different to bring to a party last year. I already had walnuts and roasted red peppers in mind when I happened upon a recipe for muhammara. When I saw one of the ingredients was pomegranate molasses, I knew I'd found my party dip. I had wanted to try pomegranate molasses for a while, so here was my golden opportunity (or more of a red actually).

Muhammara (pronounced moo-hahm-mer-ah) is a Middle Eastern roasted pepper dip (or spread). It's a little spicy, but of course you can make it to taste. It's soooo good. And pretty good for you (as party foods go).

Yield: 2 cups

2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 12-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained (or about 2 medium roasted red peppers)
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses* or 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or Aleppo pepper flakes or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper)
salt to taste

pita chips (preferably whole wheat) or vegetables for dipping

*Available online, in Middle Eastern stores or the International aisle of some supermarkets

Process garlic cloves until well minced.  Add remaining ingredients (except pita chips) and blend in processor until coarse puree forms. Transfer to bowl; serve with chips or vegetables.

adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2008

I think it takes all of 10 minutes to whip up a batch of this!
just waiting for the party to start
my bottle of pomegranate molasses (luckily they sell it at Wegmans)

If you can't find pomegranate molasses and don't want to order it online, you can make it yourself. I've never done it (because as you can see, I have a bottle at home). But I looked it up and found several recipes (including one from Alton Brown). The recipe below is a mixture of those recipes. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

(Yield: about 1 cup)

4 cups pomegranate juice (Pom brand is recommended)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for about 70-80 minutes or until juice has reduced to about 1 cup and has the consistency of a thick syrup. Pour syrup into a glass jar and let cool completely. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

1 comment:

Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

I've had this at Susan's house and it is delicious. A little bit spicy a little bit sweet it really hits the spot. I'm sure it's better to eat it with veggies dipped in, but the pita chips are to die for.

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