Store-cupboard red pepper dip

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This quick and easy version of muhamarra is a tasty way to make use of store cupboard ingredients.

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This red pepper dip, with a lovely garlickly punch, is great with some bread dunked into it, but it is also wonderful spread over chicken or fish before popping in the oven.

I often make muhamarra with fresh red peppers that I roast off until charred before slipping off the skins and blitzing with other gorgeous ingredients. This time, though, I made them with a jar of flame-roasted red peppers and the dip went down a treat.

You can also make these with a jar of sun-dried tomatoes instead of peppers: it gives a very different dip, but it is equally gorgeous.

I sometimes add harissa spices to this dip – mainly as I love the flavour of harissa, but it does go so well here. The pomegranate molasses, which is also not essential, adds a gorgeous sweet-sour flavour: just a little drizzled over!

If you want a creamier dip, mix this with some cream cheese or even yogurt.

Not many fresh ingredients?

If there is a lack of fresh ingredients near you with the current climate among some of the more selfish shoppers who have adopted the “let’s go mad and stock up on trolleyloads of stuff we would never normally buy” mentality, the use of good tinned/jarred/convenience food can give some excellent dishes.

When I was shopping the other day, most tins of vegetables and fruit were gone, but it was curious to see the food that remained in fairly plentiful supply: split pea lentils, chickpea flour, bulgar wheat, jars of red peppers, bottles of capers, coconut milk, many varieties of nuts………..ingredients that call out to me at even the best of times!

Chickpea flour flatbreads

These flatbreads are perfect if there is a shortage of flour but also if you can’t have gluten. And they do not taste at all as if they are limited flavour-wise. In fact, quite the opposite.



Recipe: store cupboard red pepper dip

  • 1 jar of red peppers (in brine or in oil, drained): if you have flame-roasted ones, even better!
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • a generous glug of olive oil
  • a handful of bread (stale or fresh and roughly torn, with the crusts!)
  • a handful of walnuts (or pine nuts/hazelnuts/almonds…)
  • salt and pepper
  • a little pomegranate molasses to drizzle over (optional)
  • chopped flatleaf parsley or chopped spring onions to scatter over (optional)

(1) Rinse the red peppers in water if they were in brine to remove some of the vinegary flavour and drain. Add to a food processor with the other ingredients and blitz to give a fairly coarse paste.

(2) Adjust seasoning if needed and decant into a bowl. Serve at room temperature, with a light drizzle of pomegranate molasses.

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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