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Roast red pepper dip with lemon and olive salsa

Dips and dressings Vegetarian
Serves 6
Prep 25 min
Cook 55 min

This is loosely based on the Middle Eastern red pepper dip muhamarra. The addition of feta makes it creamy and more complex, and I amplify this even further with chopped fresh lemon and olive salsa. It’s delightfully not for the faint-hearted. Serve with bread or crudite, as a starter or as part of a meze spread.


5 red peppers, quartered lengthways, stem, pith and seeds discarded (600g net weight)
2-3 vine tomatoes (300g), halved
1 red chilli, stem removed
1 red onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
90ml olive oil
salt and black pepper
6 garlic cloves, peeled
60g blanched almonds, well toasted and roughly chopped
150g greek feta, roughly crumbled
1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar
1 lemon, segmented
50g pitted green olives, roughly chopped (we use nocellara)
1½ tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/465F. Put the pepper quarters, tomatoes, chilli, onion, two tablespoons of oil, a half-teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper on a large oven tray lined with baking paper and toss to combine. Roast for 20 minutes, give everything a stir, then add the garlic cloves and roast for 15-20 minutes more, or until everything is softened and coloured.
  2. Leave to cool, then peel the peppers and tomatoes, and discard the skins.
  3. Transfer everything to a food processor, add the almonds, feta, half the ground toasted spices, two tablespoons more of oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and blitz smooth. Refrigerate to cool completely (and set slightly).
  4. Meanwhile, make the salsa. Using a small, sharp knife, trim the top and tail off the lemon. Cut down along its round curves, removing the skin and white pith as you go. Release the segments from the lemon by slicing between the membranes, then roughly chop each segment in two or three pieces.
  5. Put these in a bowl with the olives, coriander, the remaining two tablespoons of oil and the remaining ground toasted spices, and mix to combine.
  6. To serve, spread the dip on to a wide, shallow plate and spoon the salsa into the centre.