Red Pepper and Walnut Spread

This spread was inspired by an appetizer called muhammara found in Middle Eastern countries such as Syria and Turkey. In the original, roasted red bell peppers and walnuts are flavored with pomegranate syrup. If you have pomegranate syrup on hand, you can use it to replace the maple syrup in this recipe.

1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces
1 slice white bread, torn into pieces or 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 jar (12-ounce) roasted red bell peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
 juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon chili paste, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground {cumin}
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed
 chopped fresh parsley or walnut pieces, for garnish
In a food processor, process the walnuts and bread until finely ground. Add the roasted red peppers, lemon juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and chili paste, and blend until smooth. Season with the salt and cumin. Add the olive oil and blend until smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasonings, and add more oil if needed for consistency. Place in a bowl and garnish with chopped parsley or walnuts.

Serve with pita triangles, crackers, or cut-up vegetables.

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 10 min

Servings: makes about 2 cups

Recipe By: Robin Robertson

From:  Quick-Fix Vegetarian
Used with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing

Chef Suggestions
If not using right away, cover and refrigerate.