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
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.