Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Spread)

by Jul 15, 2014


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!


Thank you to Joumana from Taste of Beirut, Clotilde from Chocolate & Zucchini, and Erica of Coffee & Quinoa for the inspiration on this recipe.


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.


Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Spread)

Yield: 1 ½ cups


  • 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


  1. Whir all ingredients except olive oil in food processor until smooth.
  2. With motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

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