Today is Progressive Eats Day and we're celebrating all things citrus! I've made you some blood orange muhammara. It's a Middle Eastern walnut dip that is hard to stop eating. Instead of the usual one-two punch of lemon juice and pomegranate molasses, I've substituted blood orange juice and a blood orange reduction. First, let's check out this month's line up, hosted by Coleen Hill of The Redhead Baker.
Progressive Eats is one of my favorite times of the month. I try to think outside the box and really bring the theme home in new and delicious ways. All these ladies push me to be better and more creative, and I love it! Thanks so much to Coleen for hosting this month and to Barb from Creative Culinary for coming up with this great concept.
Progressive Eats Citrus Menu
- Bubbly Blood Orange Campari Cocktail from Mother Would Know
- Muhammara with Blood Orange from Pastry Chef Online (you're here!)
- Orange and Anise Scented Challah from OMG! Yummy
- Chicken Milanese with Citrus Salsa from Healthy Delicious
- Citrus Salad with Honey-Tarragon Vinaigrette from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Lemon Rice - South Indian Rice With Lemon from SpiceRoots
- Blood Orange Upside Down Cake from Creative Culinary
- Chocolate Hazelnut Orange Cake from Food Hunters Guide
- Meyer Lemon Mousse from The Redhead Baker
- Raspberry Topped Lemon Souffles from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
Blood Orange Muhammara
This is the second time I've made muhammara. The first was from a recipe in Judith Finlayson's most excellent and encyclopedic The Chile Pepper Bible. The original version of this Middle Eastern walnut dip gets tang and zing from lemon juice and pomegranate molasses. In this version, I subbed in blood orange juice and a blood orange reduction. I also added in some ras al hanout--a Moroccan spice blend that translates to "top of the shop." In other words, it's a spice blend with all the best spices each individual spice shop carries. I got my ras al hanout from Savory Spice Shop, although I recently saw that McCormick's has a ras al hanout blend available at our local Lowes Foods.
The combination of slightly bitter, tangy blood orange juice and reduction along with the warm spices in the ras al hanout--mace, nutmeg, cardamom, saffron, ginger, turmeric, and more--really make this dip sing. The base is roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, and toasted pinenuts. Think of it as a Middle Eastern pesto that uses peppers in place of herbs. It has a bit of heat, a bit of smoke from the roasted peppers and the hot smoked paprika I decided to add, and it is decidedly more-ish. A wonderful appetizer before our citrus extravaganza!
- 1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted
- ½ cup pinenuts, toasted
- 4 green onions, white and part of the green. I settled on about 3" pieces
- 1 small spicy (or not so spicy) red pepper of your choice, seeded and cut into strips. Original recipe calls for finger peppers, but use what you can find. I used something called a Fresno pepper which wasn't especially hot.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons blood orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons blood orange reduction (see notes)
- 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ras al hanout
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½-3/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika (to taste, or use ¼ teaspoon cayenne)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place all the ingredients except for the olive oil in the bowl of your food processor.
- Put on the lid and pulse until the consistency of chunky salsa.
- With the processor running, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream until pureed. There will still be some texture from the nuts. You can leave it chunkier if you want, but I like it smooth. Your call.
- Cover and let sit for 30 minutes or so for the flavors to develop.
- Enjoy and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Shop This Recipe
Here are some of my picks for equipment and ingredients to help you make blood orange muhammara. Please keep in mind that there are no two ras al hanout blends that are exactly the same, so read the ingredient list to make sure there's nothing hiding in a blend that you don't like. Thank you for supporting PCO by shopping through my affiliate links.
And here's a long pin should you want to make this (and I hope you do. It's so tasty!)
And there you have it friends.
Thank you again to my fellow Progressive Eats bloggers for keeping me inspired and pushing me to be creative. And thanks to Judith Finlayson for the excellent base recipe, and for being excited when I told you I was making a blood orange variation.
Please do visit all our other bloggers--there are so many wonderful recipes with citrus, both sweet and savory. Plus, we have a few new folks joining us in 2017!
Thanks for spending some time with me today. Enjoy the blood orange muhammara. Have a lovely day.