This is a mushroomy take on a classic Middle Eastern dish. While there seems to be a lot of roasting and toasting, it’s all timed to come together quickly without wasting time or energy. The results are spicy, full of flavour and totally irresistible.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Charmian from The Messy Baker.
Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins. | Makes: 1 1/2 to 2 cups.
3 red bell peppers
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper flakes*
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
fresh cilantro or mint for garnish, optional
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the cap and tip from the bell peppers, then slice them in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds and ribs. Place the peppers cut side down on one of the lined baking sheets. Roast in the oven until blistered and blackened, about 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Spread in a single layer on the second lined baking sheet, and roast in the oven along with the peppers. Stir after 10 minutes. Keep cooking until the water they release has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. The mushrooms and peppers will be done about the same time.
3. When the peppers are roasted, place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until they are cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Covering them is essential since the steam will loosen the skin.
4. While the peppers and mushrooms cool, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the hot oven. Turn off the heat and leave them to toast for 7 to 10 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from oven to cool.
4. By this time the peppers should be ready. Simply peel the skin off and discard it. Roughly chop the peppers and put them into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the cooled mushrooms, toasted walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, Aleppo pepper flakes, lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse until ground.
5. Serve drizzled with more olive oil, if desired, and garnish with chopped cilantro or mint.
*While pomegranate molasses are becoming a common item in larger grocery stores, a trip to the Middle Eastern grocery store should get all the ingredients you need.
If you can’t find Aleppo pepper flakes, substitute an equal amount of hot scaled peppers or 1 teaspoon of paprika.