Recipe: Red pepper and walnut dip

Around the corner from where I live there is a small complex with a supermarket, a coffee shop, a pharmacy, a nail place and also a cafe, Circle, which I finally got around to try the other week.

The menu was very impressive, and also lots of options for low-carbers. I must admit that I do relax my rules a little bit from time to time when eating out, as I like to try new flavours and I’m always thinking how can I turn something into a low-carb meal. So I ended up ordering a plate of grilled chicken served with spiced quinoa and a red pepper remoulade.

I was mostly interested in the remoulade as I am always on the lookout for news dips and spreads, and the flavours did not disappoint – red peppers, walnuts and spicy and sweet at the same time. I’m certain that the sweetness did not come from something that was good for me, but I did not mind.

It turns out that the remoulade is a dip called Muhammara and it is used everywhere in the Middle East … my excuse is that I am new to this part of the world. As you can imagine there are lots of different ways of making this, but at a glance it seems as if most recipes includes breadcrumbs and pomegranate molasses (no wonder, I didn’t care where the sweetness came from).

The main ingredients (everybody seemed to agree on this) are red pepper and walnuts, so off I went to the market, and this is what I came up with. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

3 red medium peppers
200ml (2dl) walnuts
1/4 tsp ground cumin (maybe start with a little less as you don’t want the cumin to overpower the other flavours)
1tsp ground paprika
1 clove of crushed garlic (again be careful about adding too much – I am not a huge fan of raw garlic)
1tbsp balsamico vinegar
1tbsp  olive oil
1tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

img_4461Turn on the grill in the oven. Wash and cut the peppers into large pieces, removing the seeds. Place them in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place the baking tray just under the grill until the top of the peppers is charred, watch them carefully.
Once charred, remove from oven and place them in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and allow the peppers to cool.

img_4463

Meanwhile, toast the walnuts over medium heat until golden. Once the peppers are cooled, carefully remove the skin of the img_4465pepper. Discard the skin of the peppers and take the ‘meat’ of the pepper and put in a food processor. Add oil, lemon juice, vinegar and the spices (be careful with the garlic and cumin) and process until thoroughly combined. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Finally add the toasted walnuts and process again. If you want a bit of texture to the dip stop processing the mix while there are still some walnuts pieces left.  Taste and add more salt, pepper or other spices if needed. If you want the dip to be more sweet you can add more balsamic vinegar, just be careful the mixture doesn’t become too thin.

I think that these crackers would be perfect with the dip.

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