Walnut Pomegranate Dip (Muhammara)

Walnut-Pomegranate Dip (Muhammara)
Everyone loves this combination of flavors and it pairs well with sparkling wine, champagne, cava or prosecco.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

1 cup walnuts/cashews, lightly toasted
1 red pepper, coarsely, chopped
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cumin ground
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sumac*
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Mint or parsley leaves for garnish
Endive leaves
Pita toast

1. Finely chop the walnuts/cashews in a food processor. Add the red pepper, onion, and lemon juice pulse on and off until finely chopped.

2. Add breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, sugar, cumin, salt, cayenne and sumac. Pulse on and off in the processor several times to mix well. Add the olive oil in a continuous stream and process until well mixed. Be careful to not over mix. Place in a serving dish.

3. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, mint, and parsley. Serve with endive leaves and pita chips.

*When you hear the word “sumac" you most likely think poison. This is from a berry of a plant from that grows wild in the Mediterranean so you have nothing to fear from sumac the spice.

The red berries are sold as dried coarsely ground or whole berries; mostly it is sold ground in the states. The flavor is tart to sour tasting. In the Middle East sumac is considered mainly a condiment used much like salt at the table. Sumac can be used to season poultry, meats and fish kebab for the grill to give it a zesty tang. Sumac is also used as a garnish for hummus, or rice.

Look for sumac or at Middle Eastern markets, gourmet shops and some mail order sources.

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Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie