Try this delicious Turkish dish with your next meal.
3 large or 5 small red bell peppers
1 3/4 cup raw walnuts
1 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice or pomegranate molasses
1 tsp coarsely ground red pepper or mild paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted, coarsely ground
salt to taste
Roast the peppers over a gas flame, over coals, or under a broiler, turning the peppers with tongs, until they are completely charred. Transfer the peppers to a paper bag and seal it. Let the peppers sit until they are cool enough to handle-at least 15 minutes-then slip off the charred skin, and remove the seeds from the interior. Don't rinse the peppers, for you will rinse away a great deal of flavor.
Instead, to completely cleanse the peppers of their charred skin and seeds, scrape them gently with a plastic scrapper, or the back of a sharp knife blade then wipe them with a cotton towel.
Place the walnuts in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and pulse several times until they are coarsely ground. Add the peppers and pulse several times.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add all of the remaining ingredients and process into a coarse paste, scraping down the processor from time to time.
Season to taste with salt. Serve it immediately.
NOTE: Muhammara keeps well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for at least one week.
Selin Rozanes of Turkish Flavours
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