Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden

Most of the recipes I’ve seen call for roasted red peppers or spicy red pepper paste–harissa. I like this Claudia Roden version because it uses tomato paste, which I almost always have on hand. Pomegranate molasses is available at Middle Eastern stores or online.

1 small clove garlic
1 6-inch pita, lightly toasted and cooled
1 1/4 cups walnut halves
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on your affinity toward spice)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Combine the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until the garlic forms a paste. Tear up the toasted pita and add it to the food processor, then process til it becomes crumbs. Add all the remaining ingredients, starting with 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Blend until the miture forms a rough paste–don’t puree. Taste for salt and spiciness, adding more red pepper flakes and another pinch of salt if you like. Serve with toasted pita or on a grilled cheese.