Austin Way’s 2015 holiday issue dedicated its Taste section to Austin’s Italian invasion—that is, the stellar Boot-inspired restaurants that are cropping up all over the capital. Along with the beautifully designed Juliet and downtown’s happening Italic, Austin Way’s writer Stirling Kelso featured CANTINE Italian Café and Bar a new restaurant located in the hip Lamar Union Complex.
While it’s grounded in Italian cooking, Cantine differentiates itself by including dishes from other Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Turkey. To that end, Cantine’s chef Scott Kaplan showed us how to make one of his choice recipes, muhammara, a red pepper dip that hails from Syria.
3 red bell peppers
¼ cup canned crushed tomato
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup of toasted walnuts
2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1 ¼ tsp. red chili flake
1 ¼ tsp. paprika
1 cup canola oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
Roast peppers over an open flame or broil on high in your oven, turning every minute or so allow the peppers to blacken on all sides. Place the peppers in a bowl, wrap with plastic, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Once cool you can easily wipe of the charred skin and remove the seeds.
Next, combine the peppers, tomato, garlic, pomegranate molasses, spices and salt in a food processor. Puree while slowly adding the oil in a steady stream until you reach a smooth consistency.
Finally add the walnuts and puree to desired constancy. You can always add more salt if needed and thin out with water.
Serve with warm pita or crisp vegetables or both!
Cantine Italian Café & Bar is located in the Lamar Union Complex on South Lamar.
1100 S. Lamar suite 2115
Austin, Texas 78704
Website: cantineaustin.com [cantineaustin.com]
Sunday: 10:30am-10 pm