Yotam Ottolenghi's Butterbean Mash with Muhammara

Add a new dip to your repertoire with Yotam Ottolenghi's make-ahead recipe for creamy butterbean mash topped with a sweet and nutty red pepper and walnut muhammara.

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Muhammara is a spicy Levantine dip made from red peppers and walnuts. It keeps in the fridge for 3 days so double the recipe, if you like. It’s as lovely spooned in to a cheese sandwich or served with grilled meat as it is as a dip. I’ve left the skins on the peppers for ease, but remove them if you don’t want the texture. The mash can be made 3 days in advance – keep in the fridge in a separate container and bring back to room temperature before serving.

Serves six to eight


For the muhammara:
5 (850g) red peppers, quartered, seeds and stalk discarded
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp picked thyme leaves
¾ tsp sweet smoked paprika
¼ tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
60g walnut halves, lightly roasted and roughly chopped
For the mash:
100ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, skin on and lightly crushed
3 thyme sprigs
2 x 400g tins of butterbeans, drained and rinsed (470g)


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C fan.

2. Mix the peppers and oil and spread out on a large parchmentlined baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes, and then add the garlic. Continue to roast for 15 minutes, until the skin of the peppers is soft and starting to blacken and the garlic is golden-brown.

3. Place the peppers in a food processor, along with the garlic, thyme leaves, paprika, chilli flakes, vinegar, walnuts and ½ teaspoon of salt. Blitz to form a rough paste and set aside.

4. To make the mash, put the oil into a small saucepan and place on a medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic clove and thyme sprigs and fry very gently for 2–3 minutes, until the garlic starts to caramelise. Discard the garlic, and set the sprigs of thyme aside, along with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Pour the remaining oil into a food processor with the butterbeans, 1 tablespoon of water and ½ teaspoon of salt. Blitz until completely smooth, adding a little more water if you need to. Spread out on a large platter or a few plates, creating a natural rim around the edge, and spoon the red pepper sauce into the centre. Top with the crispy thyme springs and their oil.

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