So, you may or may not know that muhammara is a delicious spread normally made with roasted red peppers. This time, though, I am making it with beetroots, because, why not?
There are 3 things roasted in this recipe; beetroots, walnuts and garlic cloves. Roasting the garlic cloves adds enormous richness to the taste. Roasting any nuts bring out the flavour 5 times more.
After the roasting is done, the rest is just a few minutes away. Put everything in a food processor and turn it into a spread. I prefer my paste with some texture so I don’t process it for too long to make it completely smooth. But if you want it smoother, process longer. Enjoy!
3 medium beetroots, about 450 gr. before peeling and trimming
6 large garlic cloves
1.5 dl (or 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) olive oil
200 gr walnuts, toasted in 200C oven for 8-10 minutes (check often, don’t burn them)
juice of 1 medium size lemon
3 tbsp breadcrumbs (use gluten free if you like)
2 tbsp pomegranate syrup*
1 tsp light cane syrup (or any vegan syrup you like)**
2 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste (I used about 1 tsp)
to serve, optional:
toasted and crushed walnuts
drizzle of olive oil
drizzle of pomegranate syrup
*You can buy pomegranate syrup in ethnic markets in Itäkeskus, such as Alanya Market or Kimene.
**You can also use honey if you are not vegan.
1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. In a medium bowl, put beetroots and garlic cloves. Pour 1 tbsp from the olive oil you’ve got for the recipe and mix well.
3. Transfer the mixture onto an oven tray with a baking paper. Put in the oven and roast the mixture for about 1 hour, until beetroots are tender. When it’s done, take out of the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
4. Put roasted beetroots, garlic cloves and walnuts in a food processor and process a little until you get a chunky paste.
5. Add remaining olive oil, lemon juice and breadcrumbs and process more, until you get a good mixture.
6. Scrape the sides if necessary. Then add pomegranate syrup, light syrup and ground cumin and process more until you get the texture you want.
7. Taste and add salt accordingly. Process a little more to evenly mix in the salt. Transfer the spread to a serving bowl. Optionally, top with some more crushed walnuts, drizzle of olive oil and pomegranate syrup. Enjoy!