Red Pepper and Walnut Dip with Fennel Spears


Muhammara, a Middle Eastern dip with a spicy kick, is traditionally served with pita bread or roasted meats, but Hanna likes it with the addictive crunch of fennel.
INGREDIENTS
3 medium red bell peppers
3/4 cup walnuts (3 ounces)
1/4 cup crushed whole-wheat crackers
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Fennel bulbs, cored and cut in wedges
DIRECTIONS
Light a grill. Grill the red bell peppers over moderately high heat, turning with tongs, until they’re blackened all over. Transfer the charred peppers to a bowl and let them cool completely. Peel the peppers and discard the skins, seeds and cores. Coarsely chop the peppers.

In a food processor, combine the peppers, walnuts, crushed crackers, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, cumin and Aleppo pepper and process until fairly smooth. With the machine on, add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and process until creamy. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with the parsley. Serve the dip with the fennel wedges.

MAKE AHEAD
The Red Pepper and Walnut Dip can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 2 days.

WINE PAIRING
This lovely Appetizer pairs wonderfully with our crisp and fruity Savignon Blanc.  

The Winemaker Cooks
The Winemaker Cooks by Christine Hanna
Chronicle Books

Chris embodies the Sonoma Lifestyle, as she is a gourmet cook, cookbook author, wine enthusiast, gardener and entertainer.  When asked about her life in Sonoma, Chris says, "When we craft our wines and prepare our meals with locally grown ingredients it makes for a memorable experience. And it is not about impressing people, it's quite the opposite, it's about making them feel comfortable."


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