Love the matzo crackers with it...and any fresh veggie. Pickles and cheese? Yes. On kebabs or fish? Natch.
Click on photos to enlarge
[Photos by my gold mine of a husband, Dave Koontz.]
So it begins. Three bloggers and three recipes every Sunday until we finish the book... or kill each other. Please check out Shankari's blog and Eileen's blog each Sunday and follow along with us. If you make the recipes, send me a photo and I'll post it! If you have a blog, be sure to include the link. Let me know where you are from...so I can make fun of you. (no)
I decided to make Muhammara..or my version of it. It can be found on page 74 of Marlena Spieler's Jewish Cooking cookbook. Due to my huge fear of being sued by a publisher, I will not infringe upon any copyright laws. I switched the recipes up a bit and besides .. I thought I had all the ingredients and then..didn't! Adapt. Actually, I was going to start with Bulgarian Cucumber and Walnut Appetizer but changed my mind. I felt an urgent need to add some spice to my life. I checked with Ms. Spieler before starting the project and she has been helpful in so many ways. She spoke of feeling flattered and was so kind. Whew! wipes brow.
Instead of roasting red bell peppers, which I didn't have...I decided to use some jarred ones that I had. I didn't have any mild peppers either, so I used a few teaspoons of salsa verde..to taste. I had the choice to use pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar and I used the latter. I have some really great balsamic which I purchased at Corti's. (I did not buy the one that costs $499 bucks). I have purchased some at Taylor's too..love both of those stores!
Okay..so it is a delicious dip or condiment. I am going to use it on sandwiches..absolutely. Veggies dipped in it is perfect too..as is just about anything. Hell, I'd slide Stanley's paw down in it and lick it off! He is our cleanest cat.
So here is my adaptation of the recipe:
1 and 1/2 slices of toasted whole wheat bread
1 and 1/2 jars of Mezzetta roasted bell peppers
3 tsp of hot salsa verde...or to taste (oh baby, I like it hot and spicy)
one cup walnut pieces
3 or 4 medium sized garlic cloves
2 and 1/2 tablespoons of decent balsamic vinegar (I also like Oak Aged California Balsamic)
juice of 1/2 a lemon...a real lemon
1 teaspoon of ground cumin ( I toasted mine first in a med. hot dry pan.. and then ground it)
1/2 to 1 tsp. of sugar.. or I suppose you could use honey
7 tablespoons or so of good extra virgin olive oil
So I tore up the toast and through it in, added the walnuts and ground cumin and pulsed it all in my food processor until it was ground up..but not like flour or anything. An immersion mixer would work too..or a decent blender. Next, the rest of the ingredients go in and get pulsed.. except for the olive oil. That goes in last while the processor is still running. Pulse more until it looks like a thick puree. I slowly added in the olive oil until it had a smooth consistency. It is best to serve at room temp.
My new favorite party dip and sandwich spread. Smokey luscious goodness. From so much pleasure, one could plotz!
On Sunday, November 15th I'll be posting Bulgarian Cucumber and Walnut Appetizer and my husband is making challah! The man is a bread baking machine. If you make it, or this weeks, send me some photos and a bit of info. I'll post the pics next week! [I have decided to make Fragrant Beetroot/Vegetable and spiced lamb Kubbeh soup..as well]