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Dates Two Ways

In this easy, tasty holiday hors d’oeuvre, sweet, jammy dates pair beautifully with both tangy goat cheese and rich, creamy blue cheese. For added flavor, include a sliver of Spanish chorizo or other cooked spicy sausage in the stuffing, or wrap the stuffed dates with prosciutto and secure with a toothpick.

Ingredients:

  • 30 small dates, preferably Deglet Noor or Medjool
  • 1/4 lb. semifirm Spanish goat’s milk cheese, preferably cabra al vino
  • 1/4 lb. Gorgonzola or Cambozola cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

Using a sharp paring knife, cut a lengthwise slit in each date, from the top to the bottom, and remove the pit. Cut each type of cheese into 15 thin strips that will fit inside of a date.

Insert a strip of cheese into each date and press the slit closed. Arrange the dates on a platter. (The platter can be covered and left at room temperature for several hours before serving.)

Just before serving, drizzle the dates with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Makes 30 stuffed dates; serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Two in the Kitchen, by Christie Dufault & Jordan Mackay (Weldon Owen, 2012).