Sunday, February 22, 2009


This is not a new recipe for me, but I had to share it. Ever since I discovered this delicious dip, it has become my go-to when I'm asked to bring an appetizer to a party. We're going to an Oscar party tonight, so it was what I immediately thought of as my contribution.

I don't know about you, but when I go to a party I tend to graze at the appetizer table, and before I know it I've eaten more than my fair share of a bowl of some cheesy, creamy, or otherwise gluttonous dip. Dips are my weakness. And not all dips are created equal, but somehow if they're there, I'll eat them anyway. Well this one is the solution to the problem. There is absolutely nothing unhealthy in this recipe. NOTHING. I won't lie and say there are no calories in it, but if you're going to be grazing on dip all night, this is the one to do it with. It's spicy, tart, sweet and savory all at the same time. It has an incredible depth of flavor thanks to the combination of Middle Eastern flavors, and I can promise you that most parties you take it to, people will never have heard of it or eaten it before. But they'll be in love with it by the end of the night.

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip)

adapted from Ellie Krieger's "The Food You Crave"

Makes about 2 cups of dip


3/4 cup pomegranate juice OR 4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted in a dry skillet until fragrant

3 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

one 16-oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and rinsed

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon EVOO

pinch of salt


1. If you are using pomegranate juice (such as POM wonderful) rather than pomegranate molasses, put it in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool and thicken for about 15 minutes. Skip this step if you're using the molasses.

2. Put the toasted walnuts and bread crumbs in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the reduced pomegranate juice or molasses, lemon juice, red peppers, cayenne and cumin and process until smooth. With the processor running, stream in the EVOO in a thin stream. Season with salt to taste.

Serve with pita chips, endive leaves, or your favorite dipper. It will keep in a covered container for up to three days in the refrigerator.
So make this for your next party and just see how many compliments you get! Enjoy.

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