I know I complain (a lot) about the lack of good produce here in the middle of the desert. It’s true–there are so many things that just don’t grow well here because the heat turns them to mush before they’ve had adequate time to grow. Sure, it’s fun to have perfect peaches two months before everyone else, but the fun is over right about the time the rest of the country is just getting their first taste. One thing we can grow really well here are dates. Palm trees do well here with Phoenix’s H.O.T. weather. Our date palms produce lots and lots of huge, perfectly sweet dates. This fact made choosing today’s appetizer quite easy.
Keeping in line with simple, yet outstanding, appetizers than can be made ahead, I’ve got a tray of beautiful Arizona dates filled with Parmesan and walnuts. I know lots of people don’t like or have never tried dates, but M and I love them. In fact, all three of these ingredients rank at the top of my list of likes, so I knew these would be good. But, wow! I seriously underestimated how tasty they would be. Somehow, the Parmesan and date combine to make a perfectly creamy combination that isn’t just two flavors working together, but two flavors creating a whole new one. To say we enjoyed these would be a serious understatement.
Don’t forget about this week’s giveaway! You only have two more days to enter, but you can rack up six entries between the two days. Here’s how:
1. Leave a comment on today’s post telling me what unpopular food you like.
2. Either like Apple a Day’s new facebook page and come back here to tell me you’ve done so or, if you’ve already liked
the page, leave a comment on the facebook page question of the day and come back here
to tell me you’ve done so.
3. Tweet the following message (just copy and paste the text in between
the stars): *I entered to win a $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card on Apple a
Day! You can enter here: http://goo.gl/i0Sup @appleadayblog* Once you’ve tweeted, come back to today’s post and tell me you’ve tweeted.
Dates with Walnuts and Parmesan
from Williams-Sonoma, Cocktail Parties
24 walnut halves
1. Place the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant. Set aside and allow to cool.
2. Meanwhile, slice dates lengthwise, leaving the ends in tact. Using the tip of your knife, remove the pits. Slice the Parmesan cheese into 24 matchstick or thin, narrow slices.
3. Once the walnuts have cooled, assemble appetizers bu tucking a piece of cheese and walnut half into each date. Can be made and kept in the refrigerator up to 4 hours ahead. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before serving to take the chill off.