Mouhammara is lusciously good. It is so easy to make that it can be prepared on the spur of the moment, and so healthful that you can do so without hesitation. A very old spread with no precisely dated origin, mouhammara has more variations than I could begin to relay. After trying quite a few of them, I concocted this version and have been making it for years.
This spread (also spelled muhammara) is traditionally served with flatbread, but is useful for many other purposes. When not consuming it straight from the bowl with a spoon (very tempting, as you will see), we like to use it on sandwiches, or as a fragrant accompaniment to grilled or roasted veggies.
A few quick notes. Any red pepper flake will contribute to making a tasty mouhammara, but, as I note below, if at all possible use Aleppo pepper flakes. (I purchased my most recent supply at a nationwide spice store, and also have found them at Middle Eastern and Turkish markets.) They add a richness and complexity that is divine. And, if you acquire the Aleppo flakes, you will never use regular ol’ crushed red pepper flakes again, for anything, I promise. If you have pomegranate molasses instead of pomegranate juice, simply mix a tablespoonful or so into a half cup of water. The spread is wonderful the moment it is made, and only gets better after resting in the fridge for a day, though it likely won’t last that long. Ours seldom does.
1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded, peeled
1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 slice bread
4 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried red pepper flakes (preferably Aleppo)
In a food processor blend all ingredients until ground together. (You want a coarse rather than a smooth puree.) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature with crackers, bread, or flatbread.