EPISODE EIGHT: REEM ASSIL’S OAKLAND-STYLE MUHAMMARA
“Bread brings everything together.”
Chef Reem Assil (Dyafa, Reem’s California) experiments with a new ‘Palestinian soul food’ recipe — sweet potato style muhammara. She discusses the controversial mural of activist Rasmea Odeh in her first restaurant, how she bakes her man’oushe with activism, and how to make Palestinian food visible against the whitewashing of Middle Eastern food.
MAKES 2 CUPS
2 LBS OF SWEET POTATOES, 2 CUPS OF FLESH
1 CUP OR HALF LB OF PECANS
2 TABLESPOONS OF POM MOLASSES
3 CLOVES OF GARLIC
JUICE OF ONE LEMON
FRESNO CHILI OR CRUSHED ALEPPO PEPPER OR HOT PEPPER
¼ CUP OF OLIVE OIL
TEASPOON OF SALT
SPLASH OF WATER
Baking Sheet or Cookie Sheet
Wrap your sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and put in the oven for 40 minutes on 400 degrees or until soft.
Let cool before you blend it. Start putting all your dry ingredients (the nuts) into your food processor or blender. Reem likes to pulse them so you don’t lose too much of the oils of the nuts. Then add the garlic, teaspoon of salt, tablespoon of pomegranate molasses to the food processor. Lastly add the sweet potato flesh, the juice of one lemon, and a fresno chili (or red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper). Grindn all the ingredients until smooth.
Taste, adjust and spread into a shallow bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, maybe some chopped nuts or parsley, and serve with bread (pita!) or veggies.
SPECIAL THANKS TO REEM’S FAMILY—JAY AND BABY ZANE—FOR HAVING US IN THEIR HOME!