Piquillo Pepper Puree from Chef Jenn Louis at Lincoln

Okay, people reading this, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s the kind of secret that I kind of debate actually sharing, because I don’t want too many people to know about it. But then again, what is food, if not for sharing? So here goes (deep breath):

Piquillo Pepper Dip

About once a month (when she’s not Italy researching her cookbook), Jenn Louis, the acclaimed and awarded chef at Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, does a free cooking class. They are at Culinary Artistry, the catering business in the back of Lincoln, and the signup is in their email newsletter. All you have to do to sign up for the class is reply by email.

What a crazy amazing opportunity, am I right? I love going to these classes. It’s about 10-12 people every time, no microphones or speeches, just gathering around a table in the middle of the room for conversation and a few simple recipes. The first one I went to changed the way we make pizza (MORE OIL!) and we’ve never looked back. This recipe is from the most recent one we were able to attend, a class about packing for picnics. Along with this recipe, we learned about what keeps best when you’re packing. Leaving out animal proteins, for example, makes food safety A LOT easier.

There’s one unusual ingredient in the recipe: pomegranate molasses. I was able to find some at Whole Foods, but I have to tell you: I made the recipe at home first with all of the other ingredients, and was trying to figure out why it didn’t have the crazy-addicting tangyness I remembered from class. Then I realized that I had forgotten the pomegranate molasses. This magical ingredient is the key to the recipe – do not leave it out! Trust me, you’ll be able to find many other uses for it!

Oh, and piquillo peppers – you can find them in the grocery store alongside the roasted red peppers. They may come in a can or a glass jar. I bought these at New Seasons. I know Whole Foods has ’em. I couldn’t find them at Safeway and I couldn’t find them at Freddy’s, but I was looking in the can section rather than the glass jars. So it’s possible they have some there. The taste is like a subtler version of a roasted red pepper – so absolutely delicious.

Piquillo Pepper Dip

In case you are wondering, by the way, this post is not sponsored (not that I’m opposed to sponsored ones). We’re supposed to disclose when it is. This is just me being really excited about my favorite local restaurant.

Here’s what you need. Recipe by Jenn Louis (thank you, Jenn, for letting me share it! PS, you can follow her on twitter at @jennlouispdx, instagram at @jennlouis and on Vine as well. )

14 ounce can piquillo peppers, undrained
½ c walnuts, toasted
1 clove garlic
1 T pomegranate molasses
2 T tahini
½ c extra virgin olive oil
3 T dried breadcrumbs
cayenne pepper, to taste

In the bowl of a food processor combine first 7 ingredients and process until smooth. Season with cayenne pepper and salt. Store in the refrigerator.

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