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Mouhamara (Walnut, Red Pepper, and Pomegranate Dip)
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

2 1/2 pounds red bell peppers
1 small hot Fresno chili,
1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely ground
1/2 cup wheat crackers, crumbled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, plus a generous pinch for garnish
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon toasted pine nuts
A drizzle of olive oil

Roast the red bell peppers and the chili under the broiler, turning
frequently until blackened and blistered all over, about 12 minutes.
Place in a brown paper bag to steam for 10 minutes (this loosens
the skin). Rub off the skins, remove membranes, and seeds. Spread
the bell peppers, smooth side up, on a paper towel and let drain
10 minutes. In a food processor, grind the walnuts, crackers, lemon
juice, molasses, cumin, salt, and sugar until smooth. Add the bell
peppers; process until pureed and creamy. With the machine on,
add the oil in a thin stream. Add the chili to taste. (If the paste is
too thick, thin with 1-2 tablespoons pomegranate juice) Refrigerate
overnight to allow the flavors to mellow. When ready to serve
sprinkle the pine nuts and cumin on top and drizzle with oil.

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