Appetizers · Brunch · Finger Foods · Libyan · Middle Eastern · North African

My Favorite Kind of Date: Stuffed Dates, Three Ways

Dates are an integral part of my life. And by dates, I mean the fruit and not a romantic evening out. If you have never had a date, I suggest you buy yourself some medjool dates and give them a try. They have a lovely caramel taste to them. When I am trying to be healthy, I will actually eat dates with some coffee or tea for dessert and it satisfies my sweet tooth. I also use dates quite a bit in my baking; however, I love them in many different forms. In fact, I grew up eating them several times a week as a snack. And with this month being Ramadan, I’ve been eating them daily!

Stuffed Dates

With dates being a part of my evening ritual for the next few weeks, I like to serve different varieties of dates or just stuff them. Today, I am stuffing medjool dates three ways. The first is with cream cheese and an almond. The second is cream cheese, orange blossom and walnuts. And the third is a more savory variety, a feta cheese and pistachio version. Super easy and so delicious!

The key to making stuffed dates is to use a variety of date that is large, such as medjool dates. Medjool dates are the largest type of date available and relatively easy to stuff. The deglet noor dates availabe at most stores are too small, so make sure you find some medjool dates!

Preparing the dates for stuffing:

  1. The first step is to remove the pits from the dates. There is a pit in the center of the date, so gently push your knife into the date until you feel resistance from the pit. This will ensure you cut all the way thru the date flesh. Cut the date down the center from one edge to the other edge.
  2. Gently push open the sides of the date and remove the pit with the tip of your knife.
  3. Pit 9 dates (3 for each type of stuffing).

For the cream cheese & almond variety:

  1. Stuff the date with about half a teaspoon of cream cheese. Tip: Use an easily spreadable cream cheese, generally the kind that comes in a tub (not the block).
  2. Gently push a whole almond into the top of the cream cheese.
  3. For the presentation, you can either leave the date open with the stuffing in full view or push the sides of the date closed so the stuffing is concealed.
  4. Give the date a little squeeze to seal it up a little.

For the cream cheese, orange blossom water & walnut variety:

  1. Chop 4-5 walnut halves.
  2. Mix about 1/2 teaspoon of orange blossom into 2-3 tablespoons of cream cheese.
  3. Stuff the dates with the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Carefully sprinkle the chopped walnut on top of the cream cheese.
  5. Give the date a little squeeze to seal it up a little.

For the feta & pistachio variety:

  1. Chop up 1-2 tablespoons of shelled pistachios.
  2. Cut off a small chunk of feta and roughly chop it into smaller chunks. FYI, I prefer using block feta instead of crumbled feta because crumbled feta is generally quite dry in comparison.
  3. Stuff the date with the feta, then carefully top with the chopped pistachios.
  4. Give the date a little squeeze to seal it up a little.

 

All done! You now have some scrumptious appetizers. Enjoy with some Libyan coffee or add them to your next brunch. Enjoy!

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