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
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.
- 16 large pitted dates
- 3 oz. chunk Parmesan cheese
- 16 walnut halves, toasted
Yield: 6-8 servings
Estimated Start-to-Finish Time: 10 minutes
Actual Start-to-Finish Time: 30 minutes