Red pepper spread (muhamarra)

This morning I stumbled upon one of Kristof Steiner’s prime vegan recipes. I have happily read his stuff before (I would happily thumb my way through his recipe book – l say this in a hoarse whisper in case anyone with an interest should be reading this) and, as it happens, I have thought a lot about cooking red pepper spread lately, because I haven’t had it in years. In the past I have used a different recipe, which I also love, but this version also struck me as excellent with its middle eastern flavour. I really fancy anything spicy at the moment and, as it happens, yesterday Geri brought us a jar of dried tomatoes from Italy as a present, along with a big lump of Grana Padano. Something the dear boy is welcome to make a habit of!
So, everything came together at just the right moment: the mood, the inspiration, and the ingredients. All I needed to do was make it. I tweaked the recipe to suit our tastes, but there are no fundamental differences from the original.

Ingredients:
a good handful of dried tomatoes
3 cooked, sweet, red bell peppers
2-3 good pinches of paprika powder
a little chilli pepper
1 handful of walnuts
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 clove of garlic
a little cumin, to your own taste
a couple of drops of balsamic vinegar (that’s not in the original recipe, but somehow I felt it needed it)
I cooked the peppers in a contact grill, when they cooled I removed the skin where it came easily. I bunged the rest into the processor and mixed it well. Done, that’s all there is to it. Tasty, thick, colourful with a great scent. Try it!

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