It might be a very bold statement, but I believe that Muhammara could quite possible be the next hummus. I love hummus, and I feel like there are a lot of other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern spreads that are going to be seeing more commercial success. This Syrian spread is made from red peppers and walnuts. There are many recipes out there, most of them using some combination of Aleppo pepper, bread crumbs, garlic, cumin, lemon and pomegranate molasses.
Obviously, there are a few differences between this and hummus. Hummus is chickpea-based and has more protein, making it a good choice for vegetarians. Also, walnuts cost a lot more than chickepeas, but also have a lot of health benefits. This addictive dip is very easy and can be pulled together in less than 10 minutes. Don’t you want to be the first one on your block serving this at parties? I’d be surprised if the big companies like Sabra or Tribe weren’t already planning a commercially prepared one.
The following recipe is the one I use. I like spice, so I lean more towards the 1 (or even 2) teaspoons of Aleppo pepper. I like to serve this with toasted pita or lavash crackers.
YIELD: Makes about 2 cups
1 12-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
1 cup walnuts, toasted for 5 minutes at 350
1/3 cup panko
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice with zest from ½ of the lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½-1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, depending on your spice preference
kosher salt as needed
Blend all ingredients except pita in processor until coarse puree forms. Season with salt. Transfer to bowl; serve with lavash chips or pita chips.
To make lavash chips, lay lavash bread on a sheet tray. Spray with pan spray and sprinkle with kosher salt. Also you can sprinkle with cumin, zaatar, harissa and/or ras al hanout. Baked at 350 for 5 minutes. Turn tray and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
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