Saturday, January 20, 2007
Muhamarra is a Turkish appetizer spread made from walnuts and red peppers. I consider it to be a nice alternate for hummus and baba ganoush: it's vegan, goes with pita, crackers, or crisp vegetables, and has a really nice flavor.
2 to 3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and cut in strips
or a 12 oz jar roasted red peppers
2/3 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup matzo meal or bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (to taste)
2 teaspoons pomegranate syrup, concentrate, or “molasses”
(Lebanese brand: Cortas Concentrated Pomegranate Juice)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt to taste
Blend ingredients in a food processor, starting with walnuts & crumbs, then other ingredients. The mixture should be “brick red” and grainy in texture. Chill mixture. Stir before serving. You can garnish it with roasted red pepper strips.
Serve with pita toast. Cut thin pita in wedges, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar*, and brown in oven for a few minutes.
* A note on za'atar, also spelled zatar: this Middle Eastern spice blend is based on an herb called either hyssop or zatar. This wild plant grows in Israel and Lebanon, and probably elsewhere in the Mediterranean region. The blend also contains sesame seeds and other herbs, and has some resemblance to thyme. If you have eaten Middle Eastern food, you will recognize the flavor. It's also good on plain yogurt (with salt), on hummus, and as noted, on pita brushed with olive oil and toasted.