This is not really ‘little people’ fare though respect to anyone who gives it a go. The ‘pink one’ tried it but declared ‘spicy mummy’ so I’ve squirreled it away for myself and other unsuspecting hungry mouths who drop by. It’s also not my recipe at all, stolen straight from the wonderful cookbook, ‘Honey & Co’ it is line for line copied but my goodness it is worth sharing. It’s a Lebanese classic and really can be paired with anything; chicken, salads, roasted vegetables. It’s humble and earthy, spicy and interesting. I have eaten it in all sorts of combinations, the favourite to date being a salad of  ‘Roasted butternut, beetroot, rocket and Tahini Yogurt’. This salad has attitude, flair and sings of warmer climes. Certainly worth a try on these cool but clear spring days.

Muhamra (from Honey & Co)

  • 1 red pepper 180g
  • 1 large plum tomato 120g
  • 1 red onion 100g
  • 1 head of garlic unpeeled
  • 1 chilli red
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 freshly ground black pepper
  • 60g walnuts, roasted
  • 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2tsp smoky paprika

Method: 

Remove the seeds from the pepper and cut into chunks, cut the tomato into chunks, cut the onion into wedges and cut the head of garlic straight thorugh the middle.

Place the pepper, garlic, tomato, onion and whole chilli in a roasting tin with the  1 tsp  of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven until carmelised around the edges, about 30 minutes. REmove from the oven and let cool.

Squeeze out the soft flesh of the garlic, and discard the skins, remove the top stem of the chilli. Mix all the vegetables, all the walnuts, the pomegranate molasses, paprika and last spoon of oilve oil and now place in a magimix and blend to a puree, not completely smooth but not too chunky. More like a pesto consistency. Serve as needed. This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

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Roasted Butternut, Beetroot, Rocket and Tahini Yogurt Salad with Muhamra and Pesto

This salad evolved through leftovers but I’d create it again from scratch without any persuasion. All you need is some roasted butternut wedges, cooked beetroot cut into wedges, rocket, tahini yogurt and a good spoonful of muhamra, I also added a spoonful of basil pesto but only because it was knocking around. The recipe for Muhamra is above, ‘Tahini yogurt’ is a very simple mix of natural or Greek yogurt about 300gms mixed with 1 to 2 tablespoons of tahini, 1 tsp honey and ½ crushed garlic clove mixed thoroughly together. Happy salad, happy days, roll on Spring!

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Written by the wonderful Joanna Preston of Larder Saga. Check it out for other scrumptious ideas!