Luckily, I made 2 appetizers that I've made before and loved to go with this Persian dinner. The main meal turned out so-so, but these were awesome. I served it with cucumber yogurt salad and warm pita.

Gourmet December 1993

7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
⅔ cup fine fresh bread crumbs
⅓ cup walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped fine
2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
toasted pita triangles as an accompaniment

In a food processor blend together the peppers, the bread crumbs, the walnuts, the garlic, the lemon juice, the pomegranate molasses, the cumin, the red pepper flakes, and salt to taste until the mixture is smooth and with the motor running add the oil gradually. Transfer the muhammara to a bowl and serve it at room temperature with the pita triangles.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

MacGourmet Rating: 5 Stars

Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger

1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 (1/3 cup) servings

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Prick eggplant with a fork and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake the eggplant until it is soft inside, about 20 minutes. Alternatively, grill the eggplant over a gas grill, rotating it around until the skin is completely charred, about 10 minutes. Let the eggplant cool. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, drain off the liquid, and scoop the pulp into a food processor. Process the eggplant until smooth and transfer to a medium bowl.

On a cutting board, work garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt together with the flat side of a knife, until it forms a paste. Add the garlic-salt mixture to the eggplant. Stir in the parsley, tahini, and lemon juice. Season with more salt, to taste. Garnish with additional parsley.

Nutritional notes:
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving
Calories 75
Carbohydrates 9g
Total fat 4g
Saturated fat 0.5g
Monounsaturated fat 1.5g
Polyunsaturated fat 2g
Protein 2.5g
Fiber 4g
Sodium 153mg
Cholesterol 0mg

MacGourmet Rating: 5 Stars

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