What to do with some amazing honey dates?
I purchased some honey dates from the a Santa Monica, CA farmer's market last Saturday to give my mom for her birthday. They are the freshest tasting dates I've ever tried. I'd love to give these dates to my mother with some serving suggestions (other than just eating the dates as is - which gets overwhelmingly sweet fast). Anyone have any suggestions for pairings/recipes? I'm thinking of simple things you can pair with dates like types of cheeses. I want to keep this simple and preserve the integrity of the date, so I'm not looking for date shake/ fruit cake recipes. :)
Tara, I love dates, but I find them jarringly sweet, too. I've never had one whose inherent flavor I really thought would shine through in a recipe. But how about something like a panna cotta, where you could maybe flavor the milk subtly enough to appreciate the nuances? Is that too much like a shake?
What if you sliced them and served them atop shortbread squares? Or vanilla ice cream? I dunno -- I'm one of those people who likes sweets pure and plain. Just chocolate, no raspberries, please. Vanilla has been my favorite ice cream flavor since I was 3. Dates fit into that philosophy!
In certain places people break their Ramadan fasts with dates that they dip in tahini. I hadn't heard of this before but picked up the habit living in the Middle East. It is absolutely delicious. The tahini neutralized some of the excessive sweetness of the dates and the pairing is just wonderful. You just pour some tahini on your plate, or use a tiny East Asian style sauce dipping bowl filled with the tahini, dip and eat.
My mommy stuffed them with cream cheese, just as Niki in Dayton suggests.
For a potluck, I filled dates with a very savory tabouli (lots of parsley, mint & minced hot chiles). the finished product was popular with those with adventurous palates, but the process of filling was uber-tedious using a spoon. By the time I tried it again, I had acquired a cloth piping bag and a jar of Aleppo pepper; even better!
I'm thinking of adding ground turkey for a PTA planning meeting; (I've come away feeling ill from the usual snacky, dessert-y stuff). If others like, then I'm getting brownie points for thinking outside the box. If it's not popular, then I have plenty of freezable leftovers for me, my family & friends. I figure, either way, I come out ahead.