Tis the season for laughter, love, and lots of food! I've been meaning to try out this recipe for red bell pepper dip for several months now, and I'm so glad I did. Not only is this a festive and EnLITEned dish to bring to a holiday party, the deep red-orange color is perfect as a Valentine's Day dip, as well! In fact, I will be featuring this recipe as part of my Whole Foods cooking demo in February.
The original recipe for this dip is a Turkish dish called Muhammara. I changed a few ingredients, such as replacing the walnuts with toasted pumpkin seeds/ pepitas. They are much less expensive, and have a less overpowering flavor. I also used roasted garlic (as opposed to crushed, raw), and regular unsulphured molasses, instead of pomegranate molasses.
- 3-4 roasted red bell peppers (minus skins and seeds)
- 3/4 cup of toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 3-4 cloves roasted garlic (if you're using crushed, go easy)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher/ sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Roasting red bell peppers is VERY easy. Certain times of year, however, it may be more cost effective to buy already roasted red peppers. If you opt to do it yourself: set your oven for 500 degrees, and roast for about 30-40 minutes, rotating the peppers once, halfway through. Then, once they've cooled, peel off the skin, and scrape out the seeds and excess water.
I roasted my garlic at the same time as the peppers. I chopped off the top of my garlic bulb, then sprayed a little olive oil on it, wrapped it in aluminum foil, and let it do its thing! Again, you can buy roasted or crushed garlic in a jar.
I toasted my pumpkin seeds by simply spraying a large skillet with olive oil, then spreading the seeds evenly on the pan. I sprinkled a little salt over them, and let them cook over medium heat. Once they started to pop, I turned down the heat, and let them toast for about 5-10 more minutes, tossing them every couple minutes.