Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dates Stuffed with Parmesan

Parmesan Stuffed Dates

These dates were the appetizer for The Gastronomer's Christmas Dinner #1. They were a nice snack, but the real legacy of this recipe has been the incorporation of toasted nuts into my daily routine. I never realized how easy it was--now whenever I add walnuts or pecans to a salad, I make sure to throw them in a frying pan for a couple of minutes first to enhance their aroma and flavor.

Recipe by The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Toasting Nuts

To toast a small amount of nuts or seeds, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Simply shake the skillet occasionally to prevent scorching and toast until they are lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 8 minutes. Watch the nuts closely because they can go from golden to burnt very quickly. To toast a large quantity of nuts, spread the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in a 350-degree oven, shaking the baking sheet every few minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned and fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes.

For Dates
  • 16 large pitted dates
  • 3 oz. chunk Parmesan cheese
  • 16 walnut halves, toasted
Slit the dates lengthwise but do not cut them all the way through. Cut the Parmesan into thin shards about the length of a date. Stuff a shard of Parmesan and a walnut half into each date.

Yield: 6-8 servings
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: 10 minutes
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 30 minutes


  1. Looks delicious. I'm intimidated by recipes with more than 5 ingredients. But you've given me courage to give it a try.
    Excellent photography, and don't short change your prose. Delightful reading, and I hope soon to be able to add 'delightful eating.'
    Your admiring Dad

  2. Hi Dad,

    Thanks for giving me my first comment!

    When I wrote my "statement of purpose", I was planning not to write any commentary to go with the recipes, but I've decided that a short introduction at the beginning of each post would be a worthwhile addition, so I've added that to this post and the others. All of the photographs on the site thus far are Cathy's, but maybe I'll use a few of my own sometime.

  3. This looks delicious, in fact, it reminds me last Christmas dinner because we ate toasted nuts as well, but now that I know they can be combined with parmesean cheese I can not wait to try it!

  4. Aaron--Glad to hear you might try these; hope you enjoy them. You can't really go wrong with fresh Parmesan--it's good with just about anything.


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