my version of muhammara – a traditional, vibrant middle eastern red pepper and walnut dip with toasted pita bread on the side
3 lbs red bell peppers, halved lengthwise + stemmed
4 oz walnuts (approximately 1 cup)
2 oz fresh whole grain bread, cubed ½”
4 large pita bread, cut into quarters
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses, plus more for drizzling
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper)
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the red peppers onto a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss well to evenly coat the peppers. Lay them out into an even layer, cut-side down. Roast the peppers for about 45 minutes, until slightly blackened and fully softened. Let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, add the walnuts and cubed bread to another sheet pan. Drizzle generously with olive oil and toss to coat. Spread the walnuts and bread into an even layer. Season with a pinch of salt. Toast for 5 minutes, or until crisp and fragrant. Transfer a ¼ cup of the walnuts to a cutting board and roughly chop them. Transfer the remaining walnuts and bread to the bowl of a food processor and let cool.
Arrange the quartered pita bread into an even layer on the same sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Let cool.
When the red peppers are cooled, peel and discard the skins. Add the peppers to the food processor, along with the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, paprika, aleppo pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse until combined (the dip should be creamy but still have texture). Season with salt to taste.
Spread the dip onto a platter or serve it in a bowl. Top with the remaining walnuts, pomegranate seeds, chives, and a few extra drizzles of pomegranate molasses. Serve with the toasted pita bread alongside.