SEATTLE — James Beard Award-winning author Sarah Owens demonstrates how to make Muhammara with Hazelnuts from her new book, Heirloom: Time Honored Techniques, Nourishing Traditions, and Modern Recipes The recipe takes two of her favorite red pepper condiments, muhammara and romesco sauce, and combines them into a tart, nutty, slightly bitter but mildly sweet dip. Her recipe varies from the traditional version of muhammara, using hazelnuts rather than walnuts.  She's shared the recipe with us all below.

Heirloom by Sarah Owens
Ngoc Minh Ngo

Recipe: Sarah Owens' Muhammara with Hazelnuts

From her book Heirloom: Time Honored Techniques, Nourishing Traditions, and Modern Recipes.

Note from Sarah: You may prepare this in a food processor, but I prefer the chunky results achieved with a mortar and pestle. If you can source green coriander in season, it will add a fresh and piquant flavor. Skip the toasting step for green coriander.

To simplify, you can substitute store-bought pomegranate molasses, which you can find at Middle Eastern markets or online for the pomegranate paste.

  • ¾ cup hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds 1 plump clove garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Aleppo or Urfa Biber pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (about 6 large) sweet red Charred Peppers (page 99)
  • ¼ cup (about 2) long and hot red Charred Peppers (page 99)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Pomegranate Paste (page 124)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Sourdough Bread Crumbs (page 66)
  • 2 tablespoons mint cut into chiffonade

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Spread the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast until they are fragrant and the skins begin to curl and pull away from the meat, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Rub the nuts in a dry towel or between your hands to remove the skins.

Place the cumin and coriander seeds in a heavy skillet and toast over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and crush with the pestle to a powder. Add the garlic, Aleppo pepper, and salt and mash to a paste. Add the hazelnuts and crush to a coarse consistency. Add the charred peppers and continue working until a coarse paste forms. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the lemon juice, pomegranate paste, oil, and bread crumbs. 

NOTE: This is best made several hours before serving. Top with the mint at the end. The spread will keep stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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