Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip

Salads and Dressings

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Join me on a Manhattan culinary adventure. This is where I discovered a delicious roasted red pepper and walnut dip at a Middle Eastern restaurant. This post celebrates warmth, generosity, and the power of food to connect people, creating unforgettable memories. So, get ready with your aprons, as I’ll be sharing the recipe for this amazing dish with you if you follow along!

My friends and I had decided to try a new restaurant in the heart of Manhattan. The Middle Eastern restaurant boasted an inviting atmosphere. It was filled with the tantalizing aroma of exotic spices and the sound of laughter and conversation. As we eagerly perused the menu, I couldn’t help but pay attention to a side dish. Soon, it would become one of my favorites: roasted red pepper and walnut dip.

The appetizers arrived, and we were instantly captivated by the various dishes’ vibrant colors and rich flavors. However, the roasted red pepper and walnut dip truly stole the show. The combination of smoky roasted peppers, crunchy walnuts, and zesty spices created a symphony of flavors that danced on my taste buds.

As we savored the delectable flavors, a sudden commotion drew our attention. A customer nearby had accidentally spilled a bowl of hot soup on himself, resulting in painful burns. The restaurant staff immediately rushed to his aid. Moreover, they demonstrated genuine concern for the customer’s well-being and offered assistance in any way they could.

Despite the unexpected incident, we continued to enjoy our meal. The roasted red pepper and walnut dip remained the highlight of the evening. I couldn’t help but think I needed to learn how to recreate this amazing dish at home. So, I decided to take a chance and ask our server if the chef would share the recipe. To my surprise and delight, our server returned from the kitchen. He held a handwritten recipe from the Israeli chef responsible for creating the dip.

Roasted red pepper and walnut dip, also known as muhammara, is a flavorful Middle Eastern dip that can be used as a spread or dip for vegetables or pita bread. The ingredients include roasted red bell peppers, chopped garlic, ground cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, pomegranate molasses, walnuts, ground black pepper, and kosher salt. The walnuts give the dip a nutty flavor and a creamy texture, while the roasted red bell peppers and spices add depth and complexity to the dip.

Roasted red pepper and walnut dip is a delicious Middle Eastern dip that you can serve as an appetizer or snack. Here are some great pairings for this flavorful dip:

Pita Bread: You can serve this dip with warm pita bread. Simply tear off a piece of pita, dip it into the muhammara, and enjoy.

Crudites: Cut up some fresh vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers and serve them alongside the dip. The crunchy texture of the vegetables pairs well with the creamy texture of the dip.

Grilled Meats: Muhammara can also be served as a condiment for grilled meats such as chicken, lamb, or beef. The flavors of the dip complement the smoky flavor of grilled meats.

Falafel: Another popular Middle Eastern dish that pairs well with muhammara is falafel. The dip adds a burst of flavor to the crispy fried chickpea balls.

Cheese Plate: Add some muhammara to a cheese plate for a unique and flavorful twist. The nutty flavor of the dip pairs well with a variety of cheeses such as feta, goat cheese, or even cheddar.

Sandwiches: Use muhammara as a spread for sandwiches or wraps. It adds a unique and delicious flavor that will elevate any sandwich.

To sum up, the night at the Middle Eastern restaurant in Manhattan introduced me to a delicious new dish. It reminded me of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories. The unexpected events that unfolded that night and the chef’s generosity in sharing her cherished recipe have made this dining experience one I will never forget.

Here is how I created the roasted red pepper and walnut dip in my kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of bell peppers (red)
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups of walnuts
  • 1 tsp. of cumin, ground
  • 2 tsp. of paprika
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. of pepper flakes (red)
  • 2 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. of pomegranate molasses
  • Ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

How to create the roasted red pepper and walnut dip?

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  1. Set your oven to 350°F before you begin cooking.
  2. Roasting red peppers can be achieved by either placing each bell pepper over the open flame of a gas burner or grill, allowing the skin to become blackened and blistered. Rotate the peppers for 15 minutes to achieve complete blackening. You can also roast the peppers in the oven- place them on a baking sheet, then position them in the broiler, regularly flipping them until they’re charred and blistered overall. Place the blackened peppers in a bowl, cover them with plastic wrap, and set aside to steam.
  3. Spread the walnuts evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and toast them. Bake them for 10 to 15 minutes until they are a light golden brown with an aromatic smell. Take the pan out of the oven, and let it cool. Setting aside until it reaches room temperature.
  4. Using a paring knife, discard the red peppers’ peels, stem, and seeds—and peel them. In a food processor, combine roasted red peppers, garlic, walnuts, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, pomegranate molasses, and olive oil; then add a teaspoon of salt. Blend until reaching the desired consistency for the dip. Allow the dip to cool, then taste and check for seasoning adjustments. Once any needed alterations have been made, the dip is ready to be served.

The roasted red pepper and walnut dip is a versatile and flavorful addition to any meal, pairing exceptionally well with various dishes. For a delightful experience, try serving the dip alongside warm, slightly charred grilled pita bread or flatbread. It’s perfect for scooping up the rich, smoky flavors.

Alternatively, create a vibrant crudité platter with a colorful assortment of fresh vegetables like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, and bell pepper strips, offering a healthy and refreshing contrast to the dip’s rich taste.

For a protein-packed option, marinated and grilled chicken skewers complement the smoky and nutty notes of the dip, making it a satisfying and well-rounded pairing.

As we wrap up this Manhattan food journey, I hope you’ve enjoyed the story of the tasty roasted red pepper and walnut dip. Let this dish not just please your taste buds but also show you how food can connect people and create lasting memories. So, please invite your friends and family, and let’s keep discovering new flavors and making unforgettable moments around the table. Enjoy cooking!


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