Middle Eastern Red Pepper-Walnut Dip
- 60 grams walnut halves
- 3 large cloves fresh garlic, cut into large pieces
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large jarred, roasted red pepper (about 150 grams)
- ½ cup thinly sliced scallion greens
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup finely bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 175°C Place walnuts on a baking sheet. Toast until they darken slightly, about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- While the nuts are toasting, in a small skillet combine garlic and oil on medium high heat. Cook until the oil bubbles. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook garlic just until it begins to turn yellow, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not brown garlic.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove garlic pieces with a spoon and discard garlic. About 4 tablespoons of garlic infused oil will remain.
- In a food processor or blender, combine bell pepper, scallions, cumin, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, salt, balsamic vinegar, sugar, toasted walnuts, and garlic infused olive oil. Puree 45 to 60 seconds to form a coarse paste, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice.
- Add breadcrumbs and stir in or pulse until the texture is similar to pesto. If mixture is loose or watery, add 1 to 2 tablespoons additional breadcrumbs and pulse. Mixture will thicken upon standing. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.
Ingredient Variations and Substitutions
Instead of using the oven, nuts can be toasted in a heavy skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Stir nuts 3 to 5 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Watch closely, as nuts burn easily.Replace homemade garlic infused oil with ¼ cup commercially prepared garlic oil.
Garnish with additional chopped walnuts and olive oil if desired. To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free, bread crumbs.