I first has this exotic and unusual dip at a local restaurant called the Blue Room when it was owned and run by Chris Schlesinger. When I couldn’t figure out the ingredients, Chris generously shared the recipe with me.
The most unusual ingredient is the pomegranate molasses, considered by some to be the balsamic vinegar of the future. A deep, red, tart, almost astringent, thick syrup, the name molasses is somewhat of a misnomer, as its sweetness comes from the concentration of the fruit rather than from sugar. You can find pomegranate molasses in any supermarket with a large ethnic section or in Armenian or Arab specialty markets.
Makes about 2 cups.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded
1 cup walnuts, toasted
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and, when it is hot, add the oil. Add the onion, garlic, brown sugar, and cumin and cook, stirring, until the onion is slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the remaining ingredients, and process until smooth.
2. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days to let the flavors develop. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.
Serve with warmed pita triangles.
From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)