During the winter months when my energy is low, lunch can be a struggle. So can breakfast, dinner, and well, you get the point. I find I am more prone to order takeout in the dead of January than I am at any other time of the year. And I can’t be alone in this. I’m sure it’s even more difficult when you don’t work with food for a living and don’t have copious amounts of leftovers to fall back on. But that’s why I love this Spicy Muhammara Breakfast Plate. You make all the components for the meal on a lazy Sunday and eat it throughout the week when hunger hits and forgets to bring motivation and energy with it.
Okay, so let’s talk about this breakfast plate. Now, I call it a breakfast plate for the sake of giving it a proper name but I’ve eaten this dish at breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. I’ve even nibbled at its components during that weird 3:30 mealtime that is more rooted in boredom rather than hunger. This plate features a smear of spicy muhammara, a tangle of lightly dressed baby kale with tomatoes and cucumbers, brown butter pita chips, and a sprinkling of pomegranate arils. Sound good? Let’s break down each component.
We’re going to start with the star of the show – the Muhammara. If you haven’t had the pleasure, Muhammara is a dip made from roasted red peppers, walnuts, breadcrumbs, olive oil, and pomegranate molasses. It originated in Syria and is typically served as a dip or as a sauce for kebabs.
Now, muhammara traditionally has a little kick to it. But I made mine extra spicy by using cherry peppers instead of red bell pepper. These peppers aren’t super hot as far as hot peppers go but there is strength in numbers. I used about 10 and my muhammara definitely packed a punch. If you’re not a spicy food person, you can stick with the red bell pepper and have a mild dip. And if you’re somewhere in between, try using a red bell pepper and adding a little cayenne for a bit of a kick.
Regardless of the peppers you choose, the recipe is the same. Start by blistering your peppers. You can do this by placing your pepper or peppers on a baking sheet and placing them under a broiler. Let them go until the skin blisters and turns black. Be sure to flip your peppers once so they blister on both sides. Once you have your peppers where you want them, let them cool and peel the skin away. It should come off fairly easily. Remove the stems and seeds and set the peppers aside.
From here, the dip is incredibly simple to assemble. Just pop all the ingredients, except for the breadcrumbs and oil, into a food processor and blitz. Stream the olive oil in while your food processor is running and scrap down the sides of the bowl before adding the breadcrumbs. Once the breadcrumbs are in, just give it a quick blitz to integrate them and that’s it. The muhammara will keep for one week in the fridge. It will not last that long.
With the muhammara complete, the hardest part is over. But let’s talk about what else on this plate you can make in advance, like the eggs. You can boil a ton of eggs and then store them in the fridge. I made 10-minute eggs but if you would prefer a runny yolk, try 8 or 7-minute eggs. You can give a 6-minute egg a go, but I find those so difficult to peel that I can’t advise you to do that. There are better things to do with your life than trying to peel a difficult egg.
Now, let’s talk pita chips. These are very shelf stable, but like the muhammara, they probably won’t stick around long enough for you to tell. All you have to do to make what I think are the best pita chips around is brown some butter in a skillet. This isn’t a complicated process. Just heat some butter in a skillet and continue to do so until it smells a little like caramel popcorn. At least that’s what I think about. Take the butter off when it turns a light amber color.
Slice 2 pitas into 1-inch pieces. I used wholewheat pita and I thought the nuttiness of it played really well with the brown butter. But if you only have white pita bread or you prefer white pita bread, use it. The kind of pita you use won’t alter the recipe. Pour the butter over the pita and toss thoroughly to coat. If you’re using unsalted butter, add a little salt at this stage. Once the pita is coated, spread it out into an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. And that’s it! I promise you’ll love these. Particularly if you happen to be a Wheat Thins fan. I think they’re very reminiscent of the classic cracker.
Okay, now for the salad. Obviously, you don’t want to leave a dressed salad in the fridge. Even a hearty green like baby kale won’t stand up to such treatment. But you can make the dressing ahead of time and keep it in a sealed jar in the fridge. The dressing is a very simple concoction of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and honey. Nothing complicated. And when you’re ready to eat, just toss the kale into a bowl, add some tomatoes and cucumbers and pour on the dressing. Easy!
So that’s everything you need to know about this Spicy Muhammara Breakfast Plate. A simple but deeply satisfying breakfast, lunch, dinner, or whatever!
Spicy Muhammara Breakfast Plate
- 1 Food Processor
- 1 Large skillet
- 1 small saucepan
- 1 Small Baking Sheet
- 1 Large baking sheet
- 4 large eggs
- 10-12 cherry peppers **
- 100g (3.5oz) walnut pieces
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
Brown Butter Pita Bread
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 4 whole wheat pita cut into 1-inch pieces
- salt for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups baby kale
- 2 mini cucumbers sliced
- 1 cup whole cherry tomatoes
- pomegranate arils for sprinkling
- fresh dill for sprinkling
- Place the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and take it off of the heat. Cover the saucepan and let stand for 10 minutes. ***4 large eggs
- Transfer the eggs to an ice bath and let them sit for at least 10 minutes before peeling. **** Set the peeled eggs aside.
For the Muhammara
- Place the peppers on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the peppers under the broiler and cook until blistered on both sides. This should take upwards of 15 minutes.10-12 cherry peppers **
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel and deseed the peppers. Transfer them to a food processor and add the walnuts, garlic, pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, sumac, Aleppo pepper flakes, and salt. Turn the food processor on and stream in the olive oil. Blitz until smooth.100g (3.5oz) walnut pieces, 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tsp sumac, 1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt, 5 tbsp olive oil
- Stop the food processor and scrape down the sides. Add the breadcrumbs and blitz until integrated. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.½ cup panko breadcrumbs
For the Pita Chips
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Place the butter in a large skillet and simmer until the butter smells faintly of caramel and turns a light shade of amber.¼ cup unsalted butter
- Place the pita in the center of the baking sheet. Pour the brown butter over the pita and toss to coat. Spread the pita chips into an even layer. Sprinkle with salt and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool.4 whole wheat pita, salt for sprinkling
For the Salad
- Place the garlic, olive oil, honey, salt, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.2 tbsp olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 lemon, ½ tsp salt, 1 tbsp honey
- Place the kale, tomatoes, and cucumber in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss to coat.2 cups baby kale, 2 mini cucumbers, 1 cup whole cherry tomatoes
- Spread the muhammara on a plate and add the kale salad and hard-boiled egg. Sprinkle with pita chips, pomegranate arils, and fresh dill. Serve immediately.pomegranate arils, fresh dill