Is anyone else totally bored of hummus? I mean, I’m not about to ditch it all together (and I was sure to include it in my recent mezze-style picnic spread) but I’m keen for a bit more variety at the dip table. Who’s with me?!
I got this beautiful mezze cookbook for my birthday back in April, and the dip game in here is strong. I’ve tried a few recipes from it now and they’ve all been lovely. But this roasted red pepper one stands out!
I wanted to share these two recipes with you as I reckon a fair few of you might be suffering from hummus fatigue – and I feel your pain.
So, if you want to switch up your Middle Eastern dip offering at your next dinner party, gathering or picnic then give this a go! It works soooo well with the salad as the sharpness of the feta really offsets the sweetness of the roasted red peppers.
Both recipes feature pomegranate molasses which I discovered a few years ago in a Gizzi Erskine cookbook and have been using it ever since (mainly to pep up salad dressings) it’s lush! But don’t worry if you can’t get hold of it for the salad, replace with lemon juice. And for the red pepper dip, replace with extra oil, lemon juice and a bit of honey.
Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip (vegan)
- 3 red peppers
- 2 fresh red chillies
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 150ml olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts (shelled)
- 3 heaped tbsp white breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
- 2 tsp runny honey (optional – add to taste depending on how sweet you like it)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 small bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
- Sea salt
Preheat the oven to 200 ℃ (180 ℃ FAN, Gas 6).
Put the red peppers into an oven dish with the chillies and garlic cloves, drizzle with half the oil and put them into the preheated oven. Roast for about 1 hour. Turn the peppers and chillies occasionally in the oil until the skins are slightly burnt and buckled. Remove the chillies and garlic when they are ready, but leave the peppers for the full hour or longer.
Put the walnuts on a baking sheet and place them in the oven for the last 5-10 minutes of the cooking time so they become lightly toasted. Be very careful not to burn them!
Once removed from the oven and cooled to touch, carefully peel the skins from the red peppers, chillies and garlic and remove any seeds. Reserve the roasting oil.
Roughly chop the red pepper flesh and put it into a food processor with the walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, honey (if using!) and cumin. Pour in the roasting oil and whizz to a puree. Drizzle in the rest of the oil whilst whizzing, add most of the parsley and season well with salt.
Tip the mixture into a serving bowl, swirl a little pomegranate molasse over the top and sprinkle with the rest of the parsley. Serve with toasted whole grain pita bread.
For the Feta Salad (vegetarian)
- 2 red onions, finely sliced along the grain
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and finely sliced
- 2 green chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or the freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon if you have no molasses)
- 225g feta, finely crumbled
- 2 tsp dried mint
- 1 tsp ground sumac
Sprinkle the onions with the salt to draw out the juice for 5-10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Put the onions, red peppers and chillies into a bowl with the garlic. Add the oil and pomegranate molasses (or lemon juice) and scatter the feta over the top.
Sprinkle with the mint and sumac and gently toss just before serving.