Hummus is one of the most commonly known Mediterranean spreads and I feel like its popularity takes away from all of the other dips they have to offer. One of my favorites, muhammara, is a roasted pepper walnut dip. Like hummus, it is naturally vegan and packed with vitamins, protein, and omegas. It elevates toast and sandwiches to the next level or you can enjoy it as a topping on some pita chips.
There are a few specialty ingredients that are typically used in this recipe, to which I do not currently have access. These include pomegranate molasses, Aleppo pepper, and bread crumbs. The pomegranate molasses adds a sweet, tart flavor and is easily replaced by reducing some balsamic vinegar with honey. The Aleppo pepper can be substituted with ancho pepper, a more commonly found spice with a similar flavor and heat level. For the bread crumbs, I just toasted a couple slices of rye bread and added them to my blender. By using these alternate ingredients, I was able to successfully recreate this popular spread with the ingredients I had on hand.
2. Coat the peppers in 1 tbsp olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and into the oven for 30 minutes, until the skin is black and blistered.
3. While the peppers are roasting, make your balsamic reduction. Add the balsamic and honey to a small pot over low heat and stir until honey melts and it slightly thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Remove peppers from the oven and peel the skin off.
5. Place the peppers in a blender with the balsamic reduction and all of the remaining ingredients and blend well.
6. Pour into a bowl and top with a little olive oil and parsley.