Are you familiar with Muhammara, a flavorful Middle Eastern red pepper dip? This concoction is similar but not quite the same. The addition of dates gives it a sweeter note, and the use of pomegranate juice is also a departure from the classic. I made it for a dinner party we hosted not too long ago, and served it with Ka’kat bread. Perfect partner for the dip. The recipe comes from Martha Stewart, and contrary to my expectations, there were problems. In fact, it was almost a disaster, but my beloved husband saved the show and thanks to his advice, the dip did not metamorphose into soup. And guess what? This is Paleo-friendly, so if you are into it, feel free to dig in!
ROASTED RED PEPPER-WALNUT DIP WITH POMEGRANATE
(from Martha Stewart)
4 pitted dates
3 chopped roasted red peppers
1/2 cup pomegranate juice (use less: see my comments)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Pomegranate seeds (optional)
Soak dates in hot water until softened, about 10 minutes; drain. Pulse dates, red peppers, pomegranate juice, walnuts, and red-pepper flakes in food processor until smooth. With machine running, slowly add olive oil until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Dip can be stored in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 days.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds, if so desired.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: Don’t let my almost disaster stop you from making this dip, it was delicious! However, I even left feedback on Martha Stewart’s website stating that there are problems with the recipe as published. No way 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice will work. I actually roasted more bell peppers than the recipe called for, and it was still pretty much a soup once I was done processing it.
In complete despair, I told Phil that we would have to settle for store-bought hummus for our dinner party because the dip was ruined, but he did not even blink: put it in a sieve to drain, it will be alright. He is simply the most optimistic human being ever, nothing brings him down. Take golf, for instance. He faces each shot, no matter how tough, with full composure. Moi? I start shaking uncontrollably when my golf ball goes into a bunker (the golf balls I play with have a mind of their own, did you know that?). In part because I know how many strokes it will take me to get said ball out of there. But, let’s get back to cooking, a nicer subject.
Following the advice of the resident scratch golfer, I placed the dip inside a small colander lined with a coffee filter, and within 30 minutes it had reached a perfect dip consistency. Tragedy averted! I struck gold in March 07th, 2000.
ONE YEAR AGO: Lemon-Pistachio Loaf
TWO YEARS AGO: Roast Beef French Dip Sandwich with Green Pea Pesto
THREE YEARS AGO: Asparagus Pesto
FOUR YEARS AGO: Chocolate and Chestnut Terrine
FIVE YEARS AGO: Under the spell of lemongrass
SIX YEARS AGO: Greens + Grapefruit + Shrimp = Great Salad!