Turkish Sweet Red Pepper Walnut Spread

3 ratings
1 1/2 cups

I learned about this spicy Middle Eastern relish from a friend who found it featured on many buffets during a trip to Turkey. The recipe below includes garlic, which I doubt is traditional but I like it, so what the heck. With the deep red color and sweetness of the peppers, the toastiness of the nuts and the spike of hot pepper flakes, it makes a really alluring spread.

Iíve used it most often on plain bread or crackers, but there are copious ways to enjoy it. For a special-occasion appetizer or part of a holiday buffet, spread some Organic Valley Cream Cheese on slices of toasted ciabatta or French bread and then pile on the red pepper mixture. Fill an omelet with it or layer it into an open-face melt. Use some to accent chicken kebobs or combine it with Organic Valley Feta and toss it with rice or pasta.

The recipe yields about 1 1/2 cups.


  • 12 cup walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 red peppers, roasted, cored, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 14 cup panko breadcrumbs (Japanese style)
  • 12 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 12 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 14 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Toast walnuts in a 350-degree oven until they become fragrant and take on some color. This will only take a few minutes; watch carefully so they donít burn. Toast the cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium flame until fragrant, also for only a few minutes. Grind the cumin to a powder in a mortar and pestle.

2. Combine walnuts, cumin, red peppers, panko, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and red pepper flakes in a food processor. Use the pulse button to coarsely chop the ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the olive oil in a slow stream while you continue to pulse the machine. You want to end up with a rough puree, not a smooth one. Season with salt and pepper. The spread develops flavor if you let it stand at room temperature an hour or so before serving.

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