I love all things Mezze. If you don't know what Mezze is, basically, Mezze is a compilation of small dishes served in the Middle East or Mediterranean that is served during lunch or dinner as an appetizer. Some things that are typically served in a Mezze are hummus, grape leaves, tabouleh, baba ganoush, lebni, halloumi cheese, olives and my favorite ever: muhammara! I mean, I must really love Mezze because I named my dog 'Baba Ganoush!'
It's kind of impossible to make a complete Mezze platter for myself since I would be the only one eating it and could not possibly eat it for all meals of the day for a month! My plan has been to cook one mezze dish per every two weeks, that way I can have mini Mezzes for myself and not let anything go to waste. This week, I made Muhammara. It is love. It's literally the simplest thing to whiz together in a food processor and once you've arranged all of the ingredients in front of you, it takes a second to make.
Muhummara + warm whole white pita = snack heaven! Slightly sweet, slightly savory and smoky; delicious.
Yields: about 3 cups
1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts, toasted
2 roasted red bell peppers (freshly roasted or 3 jarred)
1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped
1 tbsn. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup finely ground unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
2 tbsn. pomegranate molasses
1 tbsn. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Finely chop the walnuts in a food processor but be careful not to pulse them into a paste. They should be the texture of coarse breadcrumbs. Add the bell pepper, onion and lemon juice and pulse until the peppers are finely chopped. Add the breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, sugar, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper. Pulse once to blend. Gradually add the oil, blending until the mixture resembles a very coarse puree. Transfer to a serving bowl.