Sticky, sweet dates have many wonderful uses. They can be chopped up for a salad, blended into a smoothie, or even made into caramels. They don't, however, actually need that much fussing to be enjoyed. All on their own, they make for a pretty good snack. Add just one more ingredient to the equation and you've got a snack that's truly great.
Even better, you don't need to go out of your way to buy anything special. These fancied-up dates call for pantry ingredients that transform the dried fruit into something that not only feels like a treat for yourself, but can also be served to company. Here are seven combinations we love.
1. Dates + Roasted, Salted Almonds
The nuttiness of the almonds brings out the caramel notes in the dates, while the salt on the nuts keeps things balanced. Either stuff the pitted dates with a nut each or leave them out separately to pick at.
2. Dates + Dark Chocolate
Stuff pitted dates with small pieces of good, slightly bitter dark chocolate for a snack that also doubles as dessert. Bonus points if you stick these under the broiler for a minute to melt the chocolate just slightly.
3. Dates + Prosciutto
This one is sweet and salty bliss. Wrap pitted dates with thinly sliced prosciutto and try not to eat just one. A chilled glass of white wine goes nicely with this combo.
4. Dates + Soft Cheese
Stuff pitted dates with your soft cheese of choice. For something mild and creamy, go for ricotta. For something a tough tangy, go for goat cheese. Or for something a little wild, go for blue cheese.
5. Dates + Tahini
Set out a handful of pitted dates on a pretty plate, drizzle the pile with a little tahini, and then snack away. You can whisk a little honey or maple syrup and a pinch of salt into that tahini to make it extra perfect.
6. Dates + Cashew Cream
You don't have to be vegan or dairy-free to appreciate the creamy nuttiness of cashew cream. Blend up a batch at home and then use it as a dip for pitted dates.
7. Dates + Marzipan
This is a classic dessert in many corners of the earth, like Algeria and even Scotland. Stuff pitted dates with a bit of marzipan for a sweet snack or fast and fancy dessert.
What's your favorite way to eat dates?