Muhammara is one of Aleppo’s greatest gifts. Traditionally made with roasted or dried peppers, it’s gently spicy and insanely dippable. Suffice it to say we feel deeply passionate about it. Our version (aka the answer to your edible magenta fantasies) swaps raw beets for peppers. The result — a bright, piquant concoction that’s equally at home on a mezze platter as it is spread across a plate, covered with roasted carrots and strewn with salsa verde and garlicky yogurt — really can’t be…beet. (Sorry, we had to.)
Toss everything except for the olive oil and garnish into a food processor/high speed blender and blend on high until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Drizzle in olive oil until the muhammara is creamy, glossy and emulsified. It might take a minute or two to break down the beet, but keep at it! Use more olive oil to thin as needed and add walnuts if you overdo it. We prefer it thicker for dipping and thinner for spreading.
Taste and adjust for seasoning (we usually add lemon and lots more pepper), then garnish with olive oil, toasted walnuts and cilantro.
Serve with crudités and grilled flatbread as part of a mezze platter. Spread it beneath a heap of roasted veg. And don’t be ashamed to throw it in a bowl with a scoop of yogurt and a sprinkle of sea salt or dukkah and call it a snack.