Grilled Mushroom Hummus with Muhammara
Muhammara… What a wonderful name for a meal! It throws me back to some childhood memories found in an unexpected corner. “A moesjamarremarremarre” is a legendary quote from a local absurd humoristic program over here in Belgium. When I was browsing through the book “Simple” by Ottolenghi, however, such a memory quickly stimulated me to try this dish. Muhammara… A dip of roasted peppers from the Turkish/Syrian kitchen, I discovered after further deepening the nostalgic sounding dish. Roasted sweet bell pepper sounds inviting to start the BBQ. And if you’re triggered there’s no need to postpone the cooking session so I started making this dish right away.
Disclaimer: recipe in collaboration with @lidlbelgium. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions expressed are personal and sincere.
A few weeks ago you could already read in the post belonging to the recipe for the grilled carrot soup how Yotam Ottolenghi’s book “Simple” inspired me. Not only did it encourage me to make “Homemade roses Harissa“, it was also my source of inspiriation for this recipe. Just like the grilled carrot soup, I gave this meal by Ottolenghi it’s own twist. By replacing the butter bean mash with a Hummus of grilled mushrooms. A while back I made my own marinated grilled mushrooms. A very tasteful snack to accompany the aperitif. When I recently saw a jar of grilled marinated mushrooms at Lidl I immediately bought it with the idea of using it for some delicious meal. With this jar in the pantry I thought it would be fun to make my own Hummus based on these grilled mushrooms.
Would you like to try making the grilled mushroom hummus? You might find a jar of grilled mushrooms at your local lidl. This will save you some time in preparation. But maybe they aren’t for sale in your region? You can always make them yourself according to the instructions in this recipe. The fresh hummus with the umami notes of the grilled mushroom offers a nice counterbalance to the sweet, spicy and sour Muhammara with the mildly bitter notes of the walnut that characterizes this dip. Although the dish originates from Aleppo (Syria) where it was traditionally made with Aleppo chillies, it spreads throughout the Middle East where roasted red peppers are used. Because of this, the Muhammara has a milder taste and is often supplemented with red peppers or chili oil to add some spice. The version of Ottolenghi seems to have passed through Italy where the pomegranate molasses from the traditional recipe was replaced by balsamic vinegar.
Muhammara is a vegan bread spread that can perfectly serve as a dip with the aperitif. This is the way we served it over here to a couple of friends. For meat lovers: “Don’t worry”. Muhammara often is made to be served along with a piece of grilled meat or fish. Similar to the Harissa of which I shared the recipe with you before. In that case I would add some extra spice to the Muhammara in order to be able to use less of the sauce to achieve the desired level of spiciness. Muhammara is in fact a strong tasting sauce that might easily overpower the taste of your meat or fish. But maybe I should try this hypothesis soon?
The nostalgic memories of the legendary oeuvre of Bart De Pauw, a local actor that has been contested due to #metoo allegations) may have gotten a sour aftertaste now, it’s not to be found in this recipe which reminded me at his humoristic program. Muhammara is a nice discovery for me, which also surprised our guests. An excellent dip to serve with the aperitif. Now we still need a good cocktail to go with it and we can let that summer feeling resonate a bit longer. Any suggestions?
Ready to dive into the Syrian cuisine? Try this grilled bell pepper dip called Muhammara and be amazed by the delicious complexity of flavors.
- 5 red bell peppers
- 1 tbsp chili oil +what extra to sprinkle
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 3/4 tsp of paprika powder
- 4 cloves mashed garlic
- 1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
- 60 grams walnuts
- pinch of salt to taste
- 180 gr. imposed grilled mushrooms from Lidl or homemade according to recipe on this blog
- 130 gr. chickpeas
- 1/2 lemon juice and zest
- 1 tsp garam massala
- salt to taste
Prepare your BBQ for a direct session at medium temperature (+-180-200°C).
Throw the red bell peppers between the coals until they are completely charred. Remove them and put aside to cool down. This way they get a delicious roasted taste and the skin is easy to remove.
Meanwhile, roast the walnuts in a pan until they release some roasted fragrance.
Remove the seeds and put the paprika in a bowl together with the garlic paste, thyme leaves, paprika powder and roasted walnuts.
Pulse the mixture with your blender until you get a rough texture (you should still recognize pieces of nuts and peppers in the end result) and season with the lime juice, zest, balsamic vinegar, pepper and salt.
Place aside until served. A night in the fridge can bring out the flavours even more. Finish with some fresh oil before serving.
If you can’t get the imposed grilled mushrooms at Lidl anymore, you can make them according to this recipe or another one of your own preference.
Add the imposed grilled mushrooms together with the chickpeas, garam massala and lemon zest to a blender and puree until you get a smooth mass.
Season to taste with pepper, salt and lemon juice.
Scoop on a plate a bottom of Grilled Mushroom Hummus and add the Grilled Muhammara on top. Finish with some fresh leaves of basil, mint or coriander and serve with breadsticks as a dip or with a delicious toast. Enjoy your meal!