David and I have been on a bit of a Mediterranean kick lately thanks to the two 'dips' listed below. We make them, along with some hummus, and scoop all of it into our eager mouths using pita wedges, sturdy crackers and carrot sticks. A little (or a lot) wine helps wash it down :)
1 12oz. jar of roasted red peppers with garlic, drained*
1 cup walnuts
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses (you can find it at Whole Foods and other specialty stores)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-2 teaspoons of sugar (optional)
Throw all of the ingredients into the bowl of your food processor and blitz away until it's fairly creamy (though a few chunks here and there certainly won't hurt you).
* If you can't find a jar that contain garlic, add 1-2 cloves garlic to recipe. David says he tends to use two 7-ounce jars, so it's not a big deal if you're off an ounce here or there.
Sweet Basil Tapenade
3 cups tightly packed basil leaves
1 cup walnut pieces or halves
2-4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup walnut oil*
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
Ground black pepper to taste
Throw the basil, walnuts and garlic into the bowl of your food processor or blender and blitz to combine. Then add the oils, maple syrup and lemon zest and process until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
If you aren't going to eat it right away, spoon it into a glass jar with a thin layer of olive oil on the surface and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
* This is what the original recipe calls for; we just use whatever oil we have on hand (usually canola).