I received a complimentary copy of Judith Finlayson's encyclopedic The Chile Pepper Bible. As such, this is a sponsored post, and I'm proud to bring you this delicious recipe for how to make muhammara. Plus, stay tuned after the recipe for a chance to win a copy of The Chile Pepper Bible! Let's get started.
Muhammara or Middle Eastern Walnut Dip
I went to go meet a friend and client in Chapel Hill a few weeks ago. After we completed the businessy part of our day, we went to have lunch and were happy to be joined by Nancie McDermott and Kathy Hester. We ate at The Mediterranean Deli in Chapel Hill, NC, where I ordered (among other things) an intriguing-looking dip/spread called Muhammara. All I knew about it was that it contained walnuts and pomegranate molasses. Pomegranate molasses is concentrated tangy goodness, so I went for it. I was served an enormous scoop of it with pita.
See it there, nestled between the chicken salad and pita? I took one tentative bite as I thought "I will never be able to eat this much of whatever-this-is," but after that one bite, I pretty much focused on shoveling the rest of it into my face before I ate anything else on the plate.
If you've not had muhammara before, the version I had at the deli was about the consistency of hummus--maybe just a bit thicker and with a bit more texture. The flavor is many things at once: bright, mellow, tangy, sharp, sweet, spicy. Seriously, it was one of the best, most addictive dips I've ever eaten.
So, of course, when I saw that one of the recipes I could share from Judith Finlayson's latest cookbook, The Chile Pepper Bible, was Muhammara, I put any idea I may have entertained of making a dessert right out of my head. I was all about making this dip for myself. And I am pleased to report that Judith's version is every bit as more-ish as the Muhammara I enjoyed at Mediterranean Deli. So very delicious.
This is not an inexpensive dip to make. With walnuts, pine nuts, red bell peppers and pomegranate molasses, it does cost a bit to put together. But man, for a special occasion, I promise this dip will be the surprise hit of your party. Even if it's just a party of one. You. Watching Netflix. Eating your own vat of Muhammara on pita triangles all by yourself.
Because I'm such a fan of this dip, I'm going to share how to make it first. And then I'll tell you all about The Chile Pepper Bible and give you a chance to win a copy for yourself. Sound good? Excellent. Click to grab the recipe and enter for chances to win!