When you have the BBQ going, toss on a couple whole red peppers to roast; they blacken in a few minutes and require just a couple turns with a pair of tongs. Your grillmaster will hardly notice the extra cargo, and you’ll have perfectly roasted peppers for this rich, sweet-sour-spicy Middle Eastern spread. Serve with grilled kabobs, pork tenderloin, chicken, or use as a dip with flatbread and veggies (ideas: snap peas, cucumber, fennel, celery). It would probably be wonderful tossed with hot pasta, pesto-style, but I haven’t had enough left to try that yet. Time for more peppers on the grill!
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips
- To easily peel roasted red peppers, put them in a paper bag after pulling them off the grill and let them cool a few minutes. When you’re ready to peel, remove the peppers to a cutting board, cut off the stem end with a knife, and the skin should pinch right off with your fingers. Remove seeds and inner ribs with your knife. You can roast and prepare the peppers in advance – store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for a day or two.
- To roast peppers without a grill, you have options: set them directly on the grate over your stovetop gas flame set to medium-high (monitor carefully so you don’t catch the peppers on fire) or use your broiler (again, watch carefully – see links to Clotilde and Erica above for some detailed instructions).
- Pomegranate Molasses. Buy it in a middle eastern grocery, or easily make your own by reducing POM 100% pomegranate juice by about 2/3. Put the juice in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan and simmer for 20 or 30 minutes until you have a syrupy consistency. (Thanks for that tip, Janice, of Everyday Healthy, Everyday Delicious!)
- Lebanese recipes for muhammara do not include bread, so if you want to be authentic, omit the panko.
- Got extra? You can freeze it in a container or baggie. Defrost overnight in fridge.
- 2 red bell peppers, roasted and charred skin removed
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
- ¼ cup panko (bread crumbs)
- 1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 garlic clove, mashed with ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Whir all ingredients except olive oil in food processor until smooth.
- With motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.