For this Middle-Eastern dip, you can roast your own red peppers in the oven (allow to cool completely before adding to other ingredients), or you can take a shortcut and buy already-roasted red peppers (in a can or jar, packed in oil). Just be sure to drain oil away before adding to the recipe.
1 Cup roasted red bell pepper slices
1 Cup chopped walnuts, (plus 6-12 pretty walnut halves for garnish)
1/4 Cup bread crumbs
1 jalapeño chile, finely seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp Sweet Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
Sea Salt to taste
1-1/2 tsp Aleppo Pepper (1/2 tsp cayenne pepper)
1 – 2 Tbsp water if needed
Fresh parsley, minced, if desired, for garnish
Roast one red bell pepper under the broiler and allow to cool completely before peeling.
Or – take out 1 Cup of store-bought roasted red pepper strips. Be sure to drain any liquid/oil that came with the roasted peppers (or your dip will have a more runny consistency).
Combine walnuts and bread crumbs in a blender or food processor. Pulse until finely ground.
Add roasted red peppers, minced jalapeno, olive oil, lemon juice, Paprika, Cumin and sugar to the food processor, and process to desired consistency. Add a little water if spread is too thick, and season with sea salt to taste.
Transfer to a bowl, and sprinkle with Aleppo pepper (or more fiery Cayenne). Drizzle with a little olive oil on the top, then refrigerate at least one hour.
This spread can be served in a bowl like a “dip” with vegetables or chips, or like a spread, in the middle of a platter, surrounded by pita or other flatbread pieces. Garnish with some fresh parsley, if desired.
Can be made up to several days ahead. Keep covered in refrigerator until ready to serve.