I’ve always loved mezze dishes. Just like the tapas that I always used to eat in Spain, you get a little taste of each dish and you get to try lots of things at once. Perfect for someone like me who doesn’t like to choose between two dishes at a restaurant.
In walking distance from me, are all sorts of mezze cafes, some Turkish, some Greek, some Syrian and some Lebanese.
After making my version of Turkish Kisir, I wanted to try this typical Syrian dish of Muhammara, a paste of roasted red peppers and walnuts. Typically made with pomegranate molasses, it has a complex flavour with tangy, sweet and earthy notes that hit every part of your taste spectrum. Simple to make, it’s a great addition to your mezze party – make sure you get some nice puffy pita bread.
- 2 large red peppers, about 600 grams
- 1/2 cup walnuts, 50 grams
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 - 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp hot chili flakes
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs
- salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to serve
Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F.
Wash the peppers, cut in half and remove the seeds and membrane. Cut again in half.
Put the peppers on a tray and roast for 30 - 35 minutes, until cooked and skin blackened.
Once cooked, place the peppers in a bowl and tightly wrap cling film around the bowl. Set aside until peppers are cool enough to handle.
When the peppers have cooled down, remove the skin.
Add walnuts to a food processor and process until you get a coarse meal. Add in peppers and the other ingredients, except breadcrumbs and olive oil and process.
Add in breadcrumbs for a thicker texture.
Transfer to a small plate and pour olive oil on top. Add some pomegranates seeds if you have and serve with other mezzes and warm pita bread!