Recipe by Roberta L.
Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS
Serve this nourishing dip with toasted pita or fresh
vegetables, as a flavorful spread on sandwiches, or as a colorful complement atop
grilled meat, chicken or fish. This unique dish is called muhammara or acuka
depending on its ethnic origin in the Middle East. A healthy eating note: the
red bell peppers are rich in beta carotene, and the walnuts are a source of
3 roasted red bell peppers *
1/2 cup unsalted walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped fine **
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses ***
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish
Salt to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
Pomegranate seeds, for garnish (optional)
- Combine the red peppers,
walnuts, bread crumbs, garlic, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, red
chili pepper flakes and cumin in a blender or food processor. Process the
mixture until smooth, stopping to scrape down the side as needed.
- With the machine running,
slowly pour in 4 tablespoons olive oil. Purée until smooth. Season with
- Transfer to a serving
bowl. Garnish with the remaining 1
teaspoon olive oil, parsley and pomegranate seeds, if desired.
- There are two options when
it comes to roasted peppers:
- Roast them yourself: Preheat oven to 500°F. Cut peppers in quarters; remove
seeds and membranes. Place peppers on a baking sheet skin side up. Roast
in oven until skin blisters and blackens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove
from the oven; transfer to a bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow peppers to cool. When cooled,
- Another option: For a quicker but slightly different result, substitute
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained.
- Toast walnuts in a dry
skillet over medium heat, shaking frequently, until lightly browned, about
- Substitute pomegranate
juice, which has been reduced to a syrup. Bring 2/3 cup pomegranate juice
to a boil in a small saucepan; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered,
until juice is reduced to about 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Allow to
cool before using.
Makes 8 servings (1/4 cup each).
Calories: 140; Calories from fat: 110; Total fat: 12g;
Saturated fat: 1.5g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 10mg; Total
carbohydrate: 9g; Dietary fiber: 2g; Sugars: 5g; Protein: 2g