Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Pita-crusted Cauliflower with Muhammara

Better final 2

A few weeks ago, we brought this cauliflower dish over to my friend Umbreen’s house along with one of my new favorite desserts – our sweet and fluffy Persian meringues. I think I turned Umbreen into an M & D fan that day, and she’s been asking me about posting this recipe since. So here goes!

Muhammara is a traditional roasted pepper and walnut dip that originated in Syria. Its abundance of vegetables, nuts, and spices are bound together by the sweet tartness of pomegranate molasses – a magical sticky syrup that I highly recommend adding to your pantry (only $3-$4 at a Middle Eastern market). We adapted our recipe from Spice, the cookbook from Oleana and Sofra Cafe’s Ana Sortun.

You can prepare the muhammara and cauliflower as a cocktail dipping pair, or plated with the muhammara layered on (sort of Gobi Manchurian style, for those who love that dish as much as I do). If cauliflower isn’t your thing, you can also serve this dip with pita chips or as part of a larger platter of our other Sortun-inspired mezze: Beet Tzatziki, Hot-buttered Hummus with Zaatar, and/or Creamy Parsnip Hummus. –jaime

Muhammara

~Ingredients~

1 large red bell pepper, roasted, skins, stems, and seeds removed (for instructions on how to roast a bell pepper, go to the bottom of this recipe. You can also buy jarred roasted peppers – just make sure they’re not marinated)

1/6 cup walnuts (estimating based on half of a 1/3 cup is fine)

1/6 cup pine nuts (same as above)

2 whole scallions, trimmed and cut into small pieces

1 garlic clove, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup pita breadcrumbs (Tip: you can make these by placing pita in a food processor and grinding them until fine – I recommend making the breadcrumbs for both recipes at once, using around 1.5 pitas, then putting the crumbs for the cauliflower aside.)

juice of 1/4 lemon

1/2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

1 tablespoon aleppo or cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/3 teaspoon salt

1/8 cup olive oil

~Directions~

1. Place pine nuts and walnuts in a small sauce pan and toast until just starting to brown. Do not burn. (This instruction is optional – the dish is delicious either way).

2. Place nuts, roasted red bell pepper, and all other ingredients in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree until smooth.

3. Season to taste with salt and garnish with aleppo/cayenne pepper and scallions. I prefer muhammara at room temperature.

Cauliflower

~Ingredients~

1/2 c. flour

2 cups pita breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 large head cauliflower

3 eggs

~Directions~

1) Preheat oven to 375.

2) Mix pita crumbs, turmeric, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.

3) Cut cauliflower into large florets like the ones pictured in the photo at the top.

4) Beat eggs and slowly add the flour until well combined.

5) One at a time, dip each cauliflower floret in the egg mixture so it coats it fully. Then roll the cauliflower in the breadcrumb mixture so that it again coats it fully. Place in a greased baking dish. Repeat until all florets have been breaded.

6) Bake for 30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender when you pierce it with a fork.

Good Pom Mol

Good Ingredients

Good final dipping 2

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3 comments on “Mezze: Pita-crusted Cauliflower with Muhammara

  1. Pingback: M & D Cookbook Suggestions for Mom – Mother’s Day is Just Around the Corner! | Mezze & Dolce

  2. Pingback: Inspiring Ingredient: Pine Nuts | Mezze & Dolce

  3. Pingback: Our Favorite Recipes from 2013 | Mezze & Dolce

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This entry was posted on April 25, 2013 by in Appetizers/Dips, Mezze, Side Dishes and tagged , , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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