A favorite Middle-Eastern starter, this puree of toasted walnuts, roasted red bell pepper, cumin, allspice and crushed red pepper is drizzled with a sweet, tangy pomegranate molasses.
For the Pomegranate Molasses, bring all ingredients to boil in small saucepan on high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1/4 cup and is consistency of thick syrup. Cool completely.
For the Dip, place all ingredients in food processor; cover. Process until dip is smooth.
Spoon dip into serving bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the Pomegranate Molasses. Serve with naan bread.
• Pomegranate molasses is an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. It can be found in gourmet or Middle Eastern markets or online specialty stores. Or make it at home by reducing pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice to a thick syrup. Store any leftover pomegranate molasses in refrigerator. Brush on roast chicken or lamb for a glaze, use to sweeten iced tea, or add to vinaigrettes and marinades.
To roast red bell pepper:
• Gas stove-top: Roast bell pepper directly over a medium-high gas flame until blackened on all sides, turning with tongs.
• Broiler: Halve and core bell pepper, removing ribs and seeds. Broil on baking sheet, cut-side down, 5 to 7 minutes or until skin has blistered and blackened over the entire surface.
• After roasting, transfer bell pepper to paper bag. Close bag. Let stand 15 minutes or until bell pepper is cool enough to handle. Peel off blackened skin. Remove tops, ribs and seeds from whole bell pepper.