Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

The C.S.A. share has been delivering a lovely array of sweet peppers the last couple of weeks, and this dip–my take on Middle Eastern Muhammara–is a versatile way to use them up.  This dip is typically thickened with some sort of bread, but the walnuts really make that addition unnecessary.  Toasting the walnuts add another layer of flavor, so I highly recommend that step.  Just place the walnut halves in a dry skillet and toast over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they just begin to glisten.  They burn quickly, so don’t walk away from the pan.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts

This is a recipe that uses pomegranate molasses, and I used my homemade version to avoid any added sugar.  If you don’t have this ingredient and don’t feel like making it, I would suggest just omitting it, rather than looking for a substitute.  It adds a distinctive flavor, but is not completely essential.  All of this is really to taste, so adjust the seasonings to suit your palate.

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Dip
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large, sweet bell peppers, roasted, seeded, and peeled (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups walnut halves, lightly toasted
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. To roast the peppers, either use tongs to blacken them directly over a stovetop flame, or roast them in the oven at 400 degrees until the skins are blackened in spots. Toss the roasted peppers into a paper bag to let them cool--this will also help steam off the skins. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and remove the seeds and ribs.
  2. Place the peppers and all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until fairly smooth.
  3. Serve this chilled or at room temperature, drizzled with a little more olive oil. This will keep well in the refrigerator for about a week.

Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Walnuts

I like this as a straight-up dip, served with vegetables, shrimp, olives, etc., or as a sauce for grilled eggplant or chicken.  If you are looking for a party dish that travels well, this is usually a hit, and the dip itself is vegan, grain free, gluten free, and will accommodate most special diets.

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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12 Responses to Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

  1. Karen Harris September 20, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    This looks wonderful. It kind of reminds me of a Romesco sauce which is on my list of my favorite things ever. Love that you served it with shrimp and olives. Gosh I wish we lived closer.

    • Angela September 20, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      Me too! And it is really great with the shrimp.

  2. Eric September 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    I am definitely going to have to try this. Do you think throwing in a roasted poblano would work with the flavor? Mom and dad have so many peppers… Also, what are your thoughts on freezing this?

    • Angela September 20, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

      I think a poblano would be awesome with this–not sure about freezing, however. I think it would end up with some water separation, although it would still taste good.

  3. Bonnie Banters September 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    What a fantastic and beautiful dip, Angela…thanks for sharing!

    • Angela September 21, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

      Thank you, Bonnie!

  4. shirley September 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    We have ‘family’ birthdays coming up the 1st week of November and I think I’ll add this to my menu. I have made pomegranate sauce/molasses before and it IS simple. Thanks for posting.

    • Angela September 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Hi Shirley! It really is simple, I don’t know why I haven’t tried it before–so good, too.

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