This vegan red pepper and walnut dip from Nicola Crowley of Mezze in Waterford is perfect to add to any platter this Christmas

"This vegan recipe is based on a Syrian dish called muhammara. The original dish calls for Aleppo chillis but I like to omit these so that heat-opposed guests can enjoy it too. Feel free to add a teaspoon of chilli flakes to spice it up if you like! This dip can be made the day before and will keep for up to a week in the fridge." - Nicola Crowley

Ingredients

  • 3 red peppers
  • 50g walnuts, plus extra to garnish
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Irish extra virgin rapeseed oil, plus extra to serve
  • ½ tablespoon sea salt
  • Mint to garnish, optional

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200C and roast the peppers whole on a tray for 35 minutes or until the skin is blackened. Remove from oven, then turn the heat down to 180C and roast 50g of walnuts in an ovenproof dish for 10 minutes until lightly toasted.
  2. Place the peppers into a box or saucepan with a lid to cool a little. When they are cool enough to touch, peel and discard the seeds and stalks.
  3. Place the peppers and remaining ingredients, excluding the mint, in a food processor and pulse until ingredients just come together. Don’t over process; it should be chunky rather than a paste.
  4. To serve, spoon into a bowl, drizzle with oil, throw on a few broken walnuts and some mint leaves. Eat with some Mezze lavosh flatbreads or some crusty bread.

TIP-  I usually toast some frozen pita I have in the freezer and then blitz in a NutriBullet or food processor to make gluten-free breadcrumbs to add into this recipe, which turns out great.

TIP- You can find pomegranate molasses in spice shops or ethnic food stores. Check that it’s 100% pomegranate and not mixed with sugar.