Muhammara is a classic meze found all over the eastern Mediterranean with many variations, especially on the nut used to thicken. Muhammara is simultaneously tart, spicy, sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, capturing every sensation on your palate. It is a deep rusty-red color; the word muhammara means “brick-colored” in Arabic. The warm, earthy chilies, bell peppers, and bright pomegranate and citrus tones are truly flavors of the sun. It can be served as a snack on bread or toasted pita, and is wonderful with grilled fish. It tastes even better the day after you make it.
5-ounces mild red pepper paste (MIS brand is a good one) or 5 ounces drained and pureed jarred roasted red peppers, or 1 large red bell pepper (about 8 oz), roasted, peeled and pureed
½ cup finely ground toasted bread crumbs
1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
1 + tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil a needed
½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil as needed
In a medium bowl, mix together the pepper paste, bread crumbs, walnuts, pomegranate molasses, cumin, chili flakes, oil, and salt.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Transfer the muhammara to a serving bowl and serve it at room temperature with toasted pita.