It's a date. How do ya eat 'em?
February 7, 2008 4:31 PM   Subscribe

How best to use up two pounds of pitted dates?

A grocery list mishap has left us with almost 2 pounds of pitted dates. 1/3 of a cup has already gone into some very fine picadillo, but damned if I know how I'm going to use the rest of them. Do you know any recipes that use dates well and in quantity?
posted by Iridic to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Larabars are delicious; dates are the main ingredient of every single flavor, combined with nuts, other fruits, and sometimes spices. I'd imagine making your own version would be pretty easy - throw everything into a food processor and mash into bar shape - but I don't know if specific recipes exist. If there are recipes I would love to know.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:39 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Everything is better with bacon. Try these goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped with bacon.
posted by heatherbeth at 4:40 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Chop 'em up, put them in a pan with some water (just short of covering them), a few strips of lemon and/or orange zest, and simmer slowly until they're mush and the mixture is thick. Add more water along the way if needed, and taste to see if they need sugar. (It probably won't.)

Push through a food mill if you have one, or just mash with a fork/potato masher.

Store in fridge.

Voila: Date spread. Yummy on toast, crackers, with lemon curd, or with nice cheeses.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:47 PM on February 7, 2008

Sticky Toffee Pudding.
posted by Lotto at 4:48 PM on February 7, 2008

Date and banana smoothies are delicious.
posted by foodgeek at 4:51 PM on February 7, 2008

I second what mudpuppie said. I find the fig/orange combo to be especially tasty.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 4:52 PM on February 7, 2008

They are lovely in salads alongside a strong cheese, like blue or shaved romano. Crumbled feta or goat cheese works, too.
posted by shifafa at 5:03 PM on February 7, 2008

Dates + goat cheese = Deliciousness.

I recently made these for a cocktail party. They were insanely good; they're also quite quick and easy to make: stuff dates with goat cheese, wrap with basil and prosciutto, and broil for 5 minutes. Boyfriend keeps asking me to make them for dinner.

If you are feeling more ambitious, Clotilde Dusoulier has a lovely roast chicken recipe for which, I expect, dates could be substituted for prunes. Yum.

posted by Spinneret at 5:04 PM on February 7, 2008

Mamoul -- Lebanese/Syrian date-filled cookies. You can also make the filling ahead of time and freeze it in blocks, so you can make just a few cookies without having to go through the whole grinding process.
posted by katemonster at 5:09 PM on February 7, 2008

You could use up 10 oz of them in these chocolate-hazelnut truffles.
posted by amarynth at 5:16 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: As easy dish to prepare is dates stuffed with smoked almonds. Start with an equal number of whole pitted dates and whole smoked almonds. Cut a lengthwise slit into each date and insert an almond. The almonds should rest lengthwise in the date. Don't try to wedge the almonds in too deep, half-in and half-out is fine.

You might look at the web site for the California Date Administrative Committee. It's kind of disorganized, but it appears that they sponsor annual contests involving dates, publish "professional cooking demonstration recipes" that use dates, as well as lists of other date receipes.
posted by RichardP at 5:25 PM on February 7, 2008

Two pounds of date squares, mailed to me. Yum.
posted by loiseau at 5:37 PM on February 7, 2008

Date shakes are great. They're even better when you blend in a couple peyote buttons.
posted by buggzzee23 at 5:39 PM on February 7, 2008

freeze em in single servings in sandwhich backs, and pack them for lunch every day from now until eternity!
posted by Salvatorparadise at 5:43 PM on February 7, 2008

posted by Salvatorparadise at 5:44 PM on February 7, 2008

I have a box of fresh dates sitting in my fridge which have an expiry date way out in October (although they aren't pitted, which could make a difference). Are you sure it's really that urgent to eat them now?
posted by ambilevous at 5:47 PM on February 7, 2008

Walnut-Date Balls, of course! A delicious, super-easy, old-fashioned sweet shop treat. In a food processor, combine 1 c. pitted dates, 1 c. walnuts, 2 T unsweetened butter. Whir until it's a paste. Roll into little balls (about 1 T each), then roll in sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut, or powdered sugar. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
posted by Enroute at 6:23 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: For my entire childhood, I was assigned the task of helping my grandmother the night before Thanksgiving. I had two duties. The first was polishing every piece of silver in the house. The second was rolling walnut date treats:
1. Fill center of date with crushed walnuts.
2. Smush date closed.
3. Roll lightly in confectionary sugar.
4. Arrange on a freshly polished silver platter.
5. Enjoy!
posted by emd3737 at 6:37 PM on February 7, 2008

Stuff them with marshmallow cream, place one whole pecan on top of marshmallow, roll in granulated sugar.

I make these for Christmas. They really are tasty.
posted by JujuB at 6:40 PM on February 7, 2008

I've never slit the dates when stuffing them with the almonds -- I just pushed the almond through the hole at the end and used the tip of a a knife or the non-pointy end of a skewer to push it down farther. Then I put softened goat cheese in a plastic baggy, snipped off the end and piped the cheese into the same hole, wrap in bacon and bake. Those things are highly addictive.
posted by lemoncello at 7:32 PM on February 7, 2008

I'll second the idea of pairing them with goat cheese.

Also, these Coconut-Date Energy Balls are simple and tasty.
posted by not me at 7:57 PM on February 7, 2008

Seconding lemoncello. Stuff the dates with roasted or smoked almonds and either goat cheese or blue cheese (a fine gorgonzola would be superb!), and heat them gently in an oven.

Serve the warm dates each on a slice of soppressata with a few arugula leaves. Drizzle with fennel-infused olive oil.
posted by rocketman at 7:57 PM on February 7, 2008

toast pecans, stick them in the dates, wrap in bacon and bake.

Throw a party.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:06 PM on February 7, 2008

Before you stuff them (I my self like cream cheese as well as goat cheese) put them in the freezer for half an hour. They become less sticky and the pits are much easier to remove.
posted by maremare at 8:27 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

In cereal, with yogurt or ice cream.

Chopped up and rolled in oat flour, so that you can pick up the pieces with your hands and not get them sticky.

I probably eat more than two pounds of dates in a week.
posted by bingo at 8:53 PM on February 7, 2008

Kickass smoothie: mix any or all of the following:

Almond Butter
Cocoa Powder
Milky Liquid of Your Choice (cow juice, soy milk, rice milk, whatevs)
Vanilla extract.

It's soooo good: not too sweet, and the dates add a really nice texture- a teeny bit gritty, like fine chocolate. Yum.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:04 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Date Nut Bread
posted by romakimmy at 3:25 AM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Bugger, I hit post too soon. It's really yummy for breakfast with cream cheese spread on top, and if memory serves correct, freezes well. (Gets eaten too quickly in my house)
posted by romakimmy at 3:29 AM on February 8, 2008

Chopped up and put into brownies with lots of walnuts and replacing half the flour with oatmeal. Yum. It's from Roz Denny's Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook, which also has a good looking pineapple-date fruit salad.
posted by whitewall at 6:54 AM on February 8, 2008

Date-filled hamentaschen!
(Hamentaschen = yummy triangular cookies made for the Jewish holiday of Purim)
posted by bassjump at 9:15 AM on February 8, 2008

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