After reading Simona`s post on muhammara on her blog Briciole,I was totally inspired by that vibrant color of the Red peppers mixed with crunchy walnuts.But the thing is ,I felt like preserving that crunch,as well as the colors,which for some reason I was totally sure were combined with black Olives.Evidently it was my imagination , because as I returned to the recipe-there were NO olives..oops.But I went with the Olives all the same.. 🙂
I decided to keep the general idea of the melange,but instead of blending them together,I combined them chopped up in chunks,creating a colorful palette,laying on a platform of a crusty dough.
Simona`s recipe was based on the one in Diana Abu-Jaber`s book “The language of Baklava”,a book that intrigues me very much as the author was also born into a multi cultural reality,a colorful one she seems to describe in her book!
I did not know about Muhammara prior to reading Simona`s post,but I am grateful for her to have introduced it to me. I have yet to try the spread itself as it really seems like a healthy delightful alternative for a quick snack! Grazie Simona!
For the dough:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp Baharat/Allspice
Salt & Pepper
1 tbs Ajwain seeds
1 tbs Nigella seeds
1/3 cup Olive oil
1/3 cup water
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For the filling:
1.5 ripe Tomatoes thinly sliced
1 large Bell pepper
approx.3/4 cup Walnuts
approx.3/4cup chopped pitted Black Olives
3 tbs chopped fresh Sage leaves
1 tbs Baharat/Allspice
1 tbs Nigella seeds
Salt & Pepper
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Prepare the dough by placing the flour in a bowl,add the spices and mix.
Mix in the oil thoroughly creating crumbs with your fingers,then add the water mixing and molding a dough.
This dough is a bit oilier than I usually prepare with the aim of creating a crispier crust.It may seem to be falling apart at first,but dont despair,slightly moisturize with a touch of additional water if needed,and continue to softly knead and put aside or in fridge for 30 minutes to set.
Meantime,in a separate bowl,combine chopped Bell peppers,walnuts and Olives together,adding 1Tbs Baharat,Salt & Pepper,1 tbs Olive oil and chopped Sage leaves,mix well.
Re-knead the dough a bit and roll it out to a flat lightly floured surface.
- Note: There is just something about old fashioned techniques in the preparation of food that I adore and feel spiritually connected to our ancestors through them,aswell as to the food itself.To the extent possible I will allways prefer working with my hands,tearing ,chopping,rolling and kneading than the work with more advanced machines,which distance us from the tactile connection to the food.
Bee and Jai from Jugabandi are hosting a food photography event called CLICK linked this month to the theme WOOD,an important grounding element of Nature ,when related to food immediatly inspires in my mind the primal basic preparation of dough,with the use of articles made of Wood.
I am sending this photo of the dough preparation to be a part of this event.
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Now,back to our dough.
Place in a parchment paper layered tarte dish.
Top the Tarte with the Tomato slices ,evenly spreading them so as to create a bonding base,and gently pour over the Bell pepper mixture,evenly sprinkling Nigella seeds on top and about 1.5 tbs olive oil.
Bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for about 10-15 min.(May differ as I used a toaster oven).Be attentive as the crust becomes baked but not too dark, the peppers remain crunchy,and the walnuts dont burn(those are your guiding signs.. 🙂 )
As you remove the Tarte from the oven,upon serving it,you may top with another sprinkle of Olive oil .