Often served as part of a Mediterranean mezze spread, this umami-rich dip also perks up salads of cooked barley or farro loaded with herbs and feta cheese.
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1¼ cups toasted walnuts skins rubbed off
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 slice country-style wheat bread toasted, crusts removed
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
- Heat broiler to high with top rack just below the heat source. Place bell pepper on a baking sheet and broil 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure pepper blackens evenly.
- Once cool enough to handle, peel pepper skin and discard, along with stem and seeds. Add remaining pepper to the bowl of a food processor with walnuts, tomato paste, and pomegranate molasses. Tear bread into small pieces and add to the bowl. Pulse to a coarse paste. With food processor running, add olive oil gradually until combined.
- Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and stir in red pepper flakes, cumin, sugar, paprika, salt, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with warm pita triangles and cucumber slices.
Crumbled feta cheese provides a briny kick.