Wanna Date? That Is, Sautéed Dates for Dinner All Week

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Tomorrow night, we'd rather have a caramel-esque dried fruit kind of date than the flowers, let's-go-out-to-a-restaurant kind (and battle the holiday crowds) kind.

And, of all the dates in the world, we'd like Renee Erickson's Sautéed Dates covered in a smattering of flakey salt. Because they're just as good on their own as they are sandwiched in a grilled cheese—which means we can eat them for dinner all week long.

The first night, make a big batch of these dates (pit them, please!)—as many as you think you'll eat throughout the week. Eat them as an appetizer or side (maybe on a pool of yogurt, with bread?) alongside whatever else you're having for dinner, like roast chicken.

Then, try the following ideas for dinner the rest of the week.

  • Toast gone sweet and savory. Slice a thick piece of your favorite bread, toast it, smear with ricotta, and topped with chopped (or not) dates, toasted, chopped almonds, and a drizzle of olive oil and honey.

  • Grilled cheese, please! Add a scattering of chopped dates to labneh grilled cheese (or any favorite hot, cheesy sandwich).

  • Put it in pasta. Cook some whole wheat tagliatelle. Toss in warmed, halved dates, chickpeas, some chopped parsley, a pinch or two of aleppo pepper flakes, and toasted pine nuts. If you have za'atar, use some of that, too. Dress with more olive oil and add a squeeze of lemon juice, if you think it needs some acid.
  • Slow it down. Braise cabbage. Stir in halved or sliced dates, chopped parsley, and crumbled ricotta salata. Top with more cheese. Serve with pan-fried sausages or roast chicken.

  • All the greenery. Add date chunks to a salad of arugula, roasted cubes of butternut square or sweet potato, pickled red onion, and any toasted, chopped nut of your choosing. Toss everything with Green Goddess dressing.

  • Time to salsa. Roast your favorite fish fillets. Top with a salsa of sorts made from chopped dates, parsley or cilantro, a splash of red wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

How would you use leftover dates? Tell us in the comments?


Ttrockwood February 14, 2017
I have made these sautéed dates several times for friends - they're so easy and fast yet really impressive and unique! I serve them over thick plain greek yogurt and use a toothpick to stab the date and drag through the yogurt which is thick enough it doesn't drip. I do the flakey salt (maldon) and a heavy hand with some fresh cracked pepper. They are always gobbled up quickly!
Mary C. February 13, 2017
I like dicing or slicing them and roasting them with fresh green beans or halved brussel sprouts, along with a handful of Marcona almonds, rosemary, and garlic. Roasted dates have the best texture!
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Riddley G. February 13, 2017
Wow! That sounds fantastic. I will have to try it!