Roasted Beet Muhammara

Muhammara is native to Syria and is traditionally made with red peppers. This recipe uses an alternative ingredient: beets! Beets have a gorgeous red color and are naturally good for lowering cholesterol, boosting energy, fighting inflammation and cancer, and helping in detoxification.

This dip is great on vegetables or crackers, and can also be used as a sandwich spread. The recipe was adapted from one in the April/May 2015 edition of Fine Cooking. It uses pomegranate molasses, which is easy to make and included at the bottom of this recipe.

Roasted Beet Muhammara

4 medium sized beets, trimmed and washed
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 – 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (recipe follows)
3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste

Position a rack in the center of oven and heat to 375. Place the beets in a small baking dish and rub with 1 tablespoons olive oil. Cover with foil and roast until tender, approximately 1 hour. Set aside to cool, then peel and coarsely chop.

Pulse the beets, walnuts and scallions in food processor until finely chopped. Add the remaining oil, molasses, lemon juice, pepper, coming and salt. Process into a puree. Season with salt as needed.

Pomegranate Molasses

2 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup Florida Crystals
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture has reduced to 1 cup, approximately 70 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. This sauce can be stored in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Recipe and photo: Michelle

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