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Author Notes: dates stuffed with goat cheese, walnuts and fresh rosemary, roasted and topped with a balsamic reduction. this recipe is easy to scale up or down. as an appetizer, plan for 2-3 dates per person. —aubrey | drum beets
- 1 small bottle balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 12 large medjool dates
- 1/2 cup soft goat cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- for the balsamic reduction, use an inexpensive bottle of balsamic and empty the entire bottle into a small sauce pan.
- over low-medium heat, bring balsamic to a simmer. adjust heat so that you see steam rising off the liquid, but just a few bubbles.
- stir balsamic every few minutes until the volume has reduced by half or more. remember that the consistency will thicken once cooled to room temperature.
- for the stuffed dates, preheat oven to 375F.
- fillet each date, making one cut on the length of the date and scooping out the pit.
- roughly chop 1/2 cup of the walnuts and finely chop a few sprigs of rosemary. reserve the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts. in a small mixing bowl, combing goat cheese, chopped walnuts, rosemary and salt and stir to combine in a crumbly mixture.
- using your fingers, press about 1 teaspoon or more into the cavity of each date. you may have extra mixture, depending on the size of the dates. feel free to pit more dates and make more!
- ideally, find a small baking dish that won't have too much extra space surrounding the dates. coat the bottom of the dish with a tablespoon of olive oil, and pack the dates close together to prevent them from tumbling over. use the final 1/2 cup of walnuts to fill spaces around the dates.
- roast in the oven until the walnuts are lightly toasted, and the goat cheese is softened and a touch browned ~ about 20-30 minutes.
- serve from the baking dish and drizzle with about 1/4 cup balsamic reduction. or for a slightly more elegant presentation, drizzle balsamic reduction directly onto a serving platter and then place dates on top with extra roasted walnuts and a few sprigs of rosemary.
- reserve extra balsamic reduction for salads, roasted vegetables or drizzle over roasted meats.