Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Joy of Dating

I was never a picky eater, so my tastes from childhood have changed mostly in the direction of what I no longer eat (Campbell's soup-based casseroles; Jell-O; margarine; fish sticks; you get the idea). Recently, though, I added something to my diet I previously considered inedible. Dates.

I’m not sure why I had such an aversion to them. Maybe because as a kid they only showed up in fruit and nut trays at Christmas, a time when their natural gooey sweetness couldn’t register on my sucrose-numbed palate.

Here are three incredible date preparations, thanks to a few of our Seattle restaurants:

From Purple Café and Wine Bar, dates (Deglet Noor, I believe), stuffed with gorgonzola, sprinkled with pine nuts, and drizzled with saba (essentially super-reduced, syrupy grape juice).

From Ten Mercer, Medjool dates stuffed with an almond (Surprise! It’s not a pit!) wrapped in pancetta and grilled. Finished with reduced balsamic vinegar and mizithra cheese.

And, my favorite, for all its simplicity, via Boat Street Cafe. Warm enormous plump Medjool dates very slowly and gently in a generous bath of your best olive oil until they get even a little plumper. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Watch your fingers and tongue; they’re hot! Not better than sex. But in a pinch...

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Oh yeah! The dates and gorgonzola number makes my eyes sweat. I love them!