I first had this wonderfully simple combination at Restaurant Alba in Malvern, PA and knew that it was something that I wanted to make at home. With only four ingredients you’ll want to focus on finding the best quality as each part plays an important role. The dates should be soft – if you can find Medjool dates, use them. A tangy goat cheese offsets the sweetness of the dates and the honey. Be sure to use a flavorful honey and top each date off with some Maldon salt or other flaky sea salt. Don’t worry if they don’t look perfect as I promise they will still taste great.
A bit of history about dates… Did you know that dates are considered the oldest cultivated fruit in the world? There are fossils showing date palm trees existed some 50 million years ago. The fruit of the date palm was eaten as far back as 5,000-6,000 B.C.E. – they’ve been cultivated for about 6,000 years in the Middle East. They were first planted in California by Spanish missionaries in the 18th century. Dates grown in California account for 95% of those grown in the United States.
I recall having dates at Christmas when I was growing up and thought this variation is worthy of being served at a holiday meal. This is a great last minute addition since it’s so simple to make.
|Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates|| |
- 32 large dates
- 8 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 2 tablespoons honey
- coarse sea salt, such as Maldon salt or fleur de sel
- Using a paring knife or small serrated knife make a slit lengthwise in each date to remove the pit.
- Flatten each date a bit and fill with a half a tablespoon (1/4 ounce) of goat cheese.
- Drizzle with honey.
- Sprinkle with salt just before serving.
* Serve at room temperature.