Charred Pepper & Walnut Dip

A versatile dip that shines as part of a tapas spread, it is also wonderful served alongside grilled vegetables, chicken skewers or grilled meat. The aroma when grinding the nuts, garlic and salt together is to die for, and almost worth making it for this alone. Use either sweet or smoked paprika, per your preference.

Charred Pepper & Walnut Dip

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
A versatile dip that shines as part of a tapas spread, it is also wonderful served alongside grilled vegetables, chicken skewers or grilled meat. The aroma when grinding the nuts, garlic and salt together is to die for, and almost worth making it for this alone. Use either sweet or smoked paprika, per your preference.
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Servings 6

Ingredients
 

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • cup walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Crusty bread, soft pita or pita chips, or cut vegetables for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 425 F. Place the bell peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the hot oven. Roast, turning once or twice, for 35-40 minutes until charred and softened. Remove and let cool slightly.
  • While the peppers are roasting, place the walnuts on a small baking sheet and toast them in the hot oven for 2-3 minutes. Watch them so that they don’t burn. Remove when they have taken on a little color. (The oven is very hot and if you aren’t careful, they could burn. It is most convenient to toast them in the oven, since it is on already, but if you have a toaster oven and prefer to be on the safe side, use that instead at 325 for 8-10 minutes).
  • Place the garlic cloves in a food processor and turn it on to finely chop them. Most of them will stick to the sides, and that’s fine. They will get chopped up more as you add more ingredients. Add the still warm nuts and ½ teaspoon of the salt and process until the nuts are mostly broken down but stop before they become nut butter. Scrape the sides once or twice to more evenly grind the walnuts.
  • Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off (they should slide off easily) and remove the stem and seeds, discarding them. Add the peppers, tomato paste, vinegar, breadcrumbs, paprika, and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt to the processor and blend until you have a fairly smooth puree. It will take 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and puree again and with the motor running, pour in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
  • Let the dip sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to meld the flavors before serving, or refrigerate for up to a day.
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