Everyone's had hummus or guacamole (and they are great). But have you tried muhammara? This is probably my favorite dip/spread to make. Like ever. It has smoky, creamy roasted red peppers, toasty walnuts, and nutty little hemp seeds. The farmer's markets are overflowing with peppers of all types where I live. I had to get some and make something special before they were gone. Shepherd peppers are ideal for roasting because their thick skins peel off rather easily once cooked. Feel free to use bell peppers though. They'll definitely be just as tasty. I've included instructions for home-roasting the peppers, but to save time, you can reach for some jarred ones too. I use a combination of walnuts and hemp seeds to really ramp up the protein and omega-3 content. The dip is finished up with a little sweetening, tart lemon juice, some pungent garlic and voila, super impressive party snack. It has so much going on flavor-wise, really lively and a bit complex. It's a little thicker than most dips thanks to the addition of bread/cracker crumbs and it's super easy to make and easily modified to accommodate what kind of ingredients you have on hand. I use gluten-free crackers to make crumbs in this just so that I'm not putting off any peeps with gluten sensitivities at a party/potluck.
Muhammara Spread [Vegan]
- 3 medium-large red peppers
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted
- ½ cup hulled hemp seeds
- 2/3 cup cracker/bread crumbs
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp Sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 2 tbsp hemp oil or extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Roast the peppers: set your oven to the broil function. Place the whole peppers, stems and all, on a parchment lined baking sheet under the broiler. Once the skins start turning black, rotate them so that the non-blackened sides are facing up. Once all of the peppers are charred (about 15 minutes), remove from the oven.
- Place peppers in a bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap, forming a tight seal. Allow peppers to steam in the bowl for about 10 minutes. This makes the skin easier to peel off.
- Place toasted walnuts, hemp seeds, cracker crumbs, garlic, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, sriracha, agave nectar and oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple times just to break up the nuts and garlic clove.
- Peel the peppers: when they're cool enough to handle, start peeling the skins off of the peppers. They should come off pretty easily, but if you're having trouble use the back of a knife to scrape the skin off. Remove the stems and as many seeds as you can.
- Add peeled peppers to the nut and seed mixture in the food processor. Flip it to high until the mixture starts to form a smooth paste. Scrape down the sides once or twice with a spatula. Add the 2 tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Pulse a few times to combine. Serve with flatbreads, veggie sticks, crackers, on sandwiches, whatever you like.