Take it from the queen of snacking; this dip is to die for! As I was preparing to teach a Middle Eastern cooking class this week, I came across this hidden gem called Muhammara Dip, made with roasted red peppers and walnuts and served with pita chips and crudités. Oh, My! What a delicious and simple treat that will be perfect for your Easter Brunch or summer pool parties! It’s now one of my go-to dips and I hope it’ll be yours, too!
extra virgin olive oil, divided
If you were one of those enterprising folks that got caught up in the sourdough bread making frenzy during quarantine, you realize by now that the process isn’t exactly a piece of cake. (That requires another type of flour!) Sourdough bread making days, at least at my house, start early in the morning with hydrating the flour. That is followed by a technique called Autolyse which begins the gluten bonding process. Then, it’s the hours-long method of letting the dough rise, punching it down, letting it rise again, punching it down and letting it rise a third time. Finally its incorporating the add ins (like kalamata olives or rosemary) and shaping the bread for the oven. I haven’t even talked about the commitment of keeping, feeding and caring for the bread starter for years to come. (My Amish Friendship Bread starter, which I have kept alive for 14 years now, requires daily love and a babysitter when I’m on vacation!) So let’s talk about another type of bread that’s much easier to make; Focaccia. What started as a poor man’s bread in Italy has become a classic Italian sandwich or dipping bread and an American favorite! Focaccia is about as close to full-proof as any homemade bread can be, and it’s wonderful for a Panini sandwich as well as dunking it in good extra-virgin olive oil. This is the recipe for the homemade Focaccia bread we served at my restaurants for years. Enjoy!