Muhammara (A Smokey Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip)

On a recent trip to Istanbul my friends and I were blown away by the mezze plates and in particular this dip. Originally from Syria there are many slight variations of the recipe of muhammara but the addition of smoked paprika to this one really sets it apart. It’s winning combination of roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, garlic and pomegranate molasses always surprises my dinner guests.

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What you’ll need: Serves 6 as a mezze

  • 2 Roasted red peppers with skins peeled
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of toasted breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil

Muhammara-dip

Method:

You have two options here, you can buy a jar of roasted red peppers and save yourself some time or you can roast and peel the skins yourself and save some shillings.

Preheat your oven to 180°C, add some oil to a roasting dish and heat in the oven for a few minutes. When the oil is hot enough remove the tray and add the red peppers skin side down. Keep an eye on them and turn once the skin has started to blacken and blister slightly.

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Remove the red peppers and give them a minute to cool before placing them into a plastic bag. This allows them to sweat and makes peeling the skin off much easier.

Leave the peppers to cool in the bag and roast the walnuts and breadcrumbs until they are golden. When the peppers have cooled remove the skins and place in a blender with all of the other ingredients. Depending on the texture you prefer you can add a little more oil and pulse for longer for a smoother, more creamy paste. Personally I like it dryer with more bite. Serve along side some flat breads as part of a mezze or on ciabbatta with avocado as a canape.

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Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or @thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

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A Simple Red Onion Marmalade

Friends of mine recently gave me some red onions from their garden. I was delighted, I love red onions and I’m quite happy to simply slice them and have them on a salad or a sambo. But before I devoured the lot I decided to save some for a caramelised red onion marmalade. It’s sticky, tasty and goes great with lots of things. In fact I’m not sure there’s anything better to add to a dish than this, it even works a treat with yummy mash potatoes…but that’s for another time.

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What you’ll need: 

  • 4 Red Onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of caster sugar (or to your taste)
  • Some oil for frying

Method:

Heat some oil in a non stick frying pan and add the onions. Cook on a low temperature until the onions have softened (10 to 15mins). Add the sugar and the balsamic vinegar and mix through. There are no fixed rules for the quantities of the balsamic vinegar and the sugar, go with your taste buds! Continue to cook on the low heat for a further 15 minutes or until the mixture is sticky.

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Allow to cool and refrigerate!

Share and enjoy!

If you try this dish at home please take a photo of it and tag @thetinyvegankitchen on Instagram or @thetinyVK on Twitter I’d love to see them xTx

Basic Tomato and Basil Sauce

This simple sauce is packed with flavour and there are only three ingredients! I use this sauce in many of my recipes throughout the blog. It’s great as a base for pizza and it’s the sauce that’s traditionally used in Melanzane alla Parmigiana (Aubergine with Parmesan).

What you’ll need:

  • Tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • One onion, finely diced
  • About a handful of basil (1/3 of a shop bought plant)
  • Some Olive Oil for frying
  • Some sugar (optional)

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Method: 

Add a little oil to a large pan and gently heat over a low flame. Add the onions and cook until they become translucent. Add the tinned tomatoes and give it a good stir. Chop your basil and add to the pot. Have a little taste and add some sugar if needed. Simmer on a low heat until the sauce becomes a beautiful, deep orange colour (approx 20mins). Using a hand blender give the sauce a good whizz to smoothen (the large pan comes in handy here as it can get a tad messy). And that’s it! Yum! You can use straight away or freeze.

Top tip : divide the mixture into 6 freezer bags, each bag = sauce for one medium pizza!

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