5 Ingredients or Fewer

Renee Erickson's Sautéed Dates

February 17, 2015
8 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves as many as you like
Author Notes

Though these sautéed dates are a sound match for a bubbly drink (Erickson serves them next to a pile of ricotta), Molly Wizenberg also likes to eat the dates over yogurt for breakfast. You could also pit them first and add them to salad or even scrambled or fried eggs, a comforting Middle Eastern breakfast. But my favorite riff is how my friend Nozlee Samadzadeh served them at a dinner party celebrating the recipes celebrated by Wizenberg on Orangette. Nozlee pitted the dates before sautéing them, then spilled them and their oil over a pool of Greek yogurt that had been thinned with more olive oil. It was a thing of beauty, cool yogurt against warm dates and everywhere good oil and salt, that we were able to sweep up all together with slices of baguette. Adapted slightly from A Boat, A Whale, and A Walrus (Sasquatch Books, 2014). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • sharp extra-virgin olive oil
  • dates, unpitted (count on 4 to 5 per person as an appetizer)
  • flaky sea salt
  1. Heat 1/4 inch olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Fill the pan with dates and cook, turning them a few times, just until they've warmed through. (They burn easily, so don't overdo it.) Serve them on a plate with flaky sea salt.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Katrina N
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    oregon cassie
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    ariel a
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

25 Reviews

Katrina N. January 4, 2019
I made these as a last minute snack for a NYE party, with ricotta and sourdough toast. Everyone LOVED them (they were the sleeper hit of the part for sure), and I had several people ask for the recipe. This is definitely a "make it again" snack.
Cheryl December 22, 2018
I was the talk of the party! Perfectly delicious and so simple to make. Thank you!
oregon C. September 28, 2018
Realized I never thanked you for this fabulous recipe. It is my go-to when I need a quick appetizer. It’s perfect, always have dried dates on hand for it; everyone loves them!
MiChal August 18, 2016
I had four old dry dates in the bottom of a jar so I thought this might be a good way to use them up. Delicious!!
ariel A. March 23, 2016
Loooooved these. (I tried them Nozlee's way over yogurt.) Next time, I think I'll cut the dates in half after pitting them so that they're more bite-sized and easier to eat when swept up onto a piece of bread!
epicurean January 25, 2016
I pitted and halved my dates. Also grated some fresh lemon zest over the top - really brightened them up nicely. These are like little fudgy caramels!!!
robin L. January 6, 2016
p.s. what kind of 'bubbly drink' would you recommend?
robin L. January 6, 2016
Just made some exactly as described above, with yogurt (with a little of the oil from the pan drizzled into the yogurt): yum. And so simple. Definitely making these as an appetizer for our potluck this weekend. They're so good even without some baguette slices but I'll include a baguette for the potluck.
robin L. January 3, 2016
What's the presentation of these with ricotta, and what kind of ricotta?
Joy P. December 29, 2015
Made these for my birthday brunch today, and they were a huge hit. They're so good! Served with ricotta, Greek yogurt with olive oil, and fresh pita.
PaulaE November 21, 2015
Could this work with dried dates, maybe reconstituted with water?
Transcendancing May 11, 2016
I also want to know if this would work with dried dates - I don't see fresh ones very often.
Elizabeth D. October 13, 2020
I used dried dates, I didn't reconstitute them.
Sauteing the dates as-is intensifies the flavor and sweetness, it also creates a nice 'chew' which is a great counterpart to the creaminess of yogurt or ricotta.
EmilyC July 22, 2015
I tried these the other night and wow, they are so good. I added the dates to a warm salad, and realized later that I should have used the leftover olive oil for my vinaigrette. Next time!
Kdoc April 7, 2015
What I picked up from a Tapas restaurant was to wrap the dates with a thin strip of bacon, just long enough to go around, then kept in place with a half a toothpick through the two loose ends and through the pitted date. If you want to pick that up a little, slip a small dab of goat cheese into the date. Then fry.
stillpoint February 25, 2015
I cannot wait to try this. Most mornings, I take a date, pit and half it, then put it in my coffee cup. Pour espresso over the top and steamed, foamed milk. Melts the date into delicousness sweetness.
Kristen M. February 25, 2015
Love this idea.
Ursula July 22, 2015
Yummo!! So doing this tomorrow. Thank you
weshook June 25, 2019
I think I need to try that!
Lazyretirementgirl February 22, 2015
Made a few of these to eat with breakfast yogurt. I had three varieties of dates ( ah, the Palm Desert Farmers Market) Barhis, Khasala, and Zahidi and made one of each. Although they are very distinct from each other when eaten out of hand, I could not distinguish among them once they had been sautéed. I added a few pistachios to the skillet, and put all of it into some plain yogurt with pomegranate arils. Adding half the olive oil made it a little too rich for me, but otherwise it made for quite a spectacular breakfast.
Anthony B. February 21, 2015
Just made this for dessert--fantastic, the flakes of salt are definitely the genius touch. Tip: use the olive oil left over in the pan to thin the yogurt!
jselt53 February 20, 2015
the recipe says "unpitted" but the picture shows pitted. does it make a difference?
Lazyretirementgirl February 22, 2015
I pitted mine since I was eating them in yogurt. Did have to keep a very sharp eye on them, lest they burn, which they could be slightly more prone to do if pitted.
Kristen M. February 22, 2015
jselt53, I've added a second photo of the original recipe (the unpitted version, which you eat as a snack, as you would olives). The photo with the yogurt is of a variation described in the headnote, and Lazyretirementgirl is right -- pitting makes them easier to eat with a spoon that way.
Josie M. February 19, 2015
Wow, just had these over maple granola and Nekesa Davis' granola for breakfast and it was outstanding!