- 5 red bell peppers, quartered, seeds and stem discarded (10 cups/850g)
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- ¾ tsp pimenton
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tsps balsamic vinegar
- ⅔ cups walnut halves, (60g)
- 7 tbsps olive oil, (100ml)
- 1 garlic clove, skin on and lightly crushed
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 cans lima beans, drained and rinsed (15.5 oz/440g per can)
- 1 tbsp water
Muhammara is a spicy Levantine dip made from red peppers and walnuts. It keeps in the fridge for 3 days, so double the recipe, if you like—it’s as lovely spread on a cheese sandwich or served with grilled meat as it is as a dip. I’ve left the skins on the peppers for ease, but remove them if you don’t want the texture. The mash can be made 3 days in advance; keep in the fridge in a separate container and bring back to room temperature before serving.
1. Preheat the oven to 450˚F.
2. Mix the peppers and oil and spread out on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, and then add the garlic. Continue to roast for 15 minutes, until the skin of the peppers is soft and starting to blacken and the garlic is golden brown.
3. Place the peppers in a food processor, along with the garlic, thyme, paprika, pepper flakes, vinegar, all but 2 tbsp of the walnuts, and 1/2 tsp salt. Blitz to form a rough paste and set aside.
4. To make the mash, put the oil into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic and thyme sprigs and fry very gently for 2–3 minutes, until the garlic starts to caramelize. Discard the garlic and set the sprigs of thyme aside, along with 2 tsp of the oil. Pour the remaining oil into a food processor with the lima beans, water, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Blitz until completely smooth, adding a little more water if you need to. Spread out on a large platter or a few plates, creating a natural rim around the edge, and spoon the muhammara into the center. Top with the crispy thyme sprigs, their reserved oil, and the remaining 2 tbsp of the walnuts and serve.