“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Thank you William Shakespeare! What a perfect line – at least for this post.
It’s so true. In Canada – summer is over all too fast. In Ontario, we’re in the middle of a heat-wave. And despite weeks of wet weather leading up to this, everything is already looking parched and lawns are turning brown. After grumbling about the cold, and then the incessant wet, everyone is now complaining about it being too hot. Next we’ll be complaining because autumn is coming and we all know what comes after that. Since I complain for most of the winter, I feel I am not entitled to complain about summer. And actually, I love summer and love the heat.
I try not to cook in summer – switching up the menu to include a lot of meal-in-a-salad type dinners, sushi, and the occasional barbecue. And for desserts – fresh fruit, Tiramisu, or the odd bowl of ice cream. This weekend I made these dates as an appetizer.
The truth is, fresh dates are fabulous all by themselves and don’t really need dressing up. But for an appetizer – they work really well done with a simple cheese filling. I’ve done them here with a bit of cream cheese mashed with feta and chèvre, just because I had all three cheeses on hand. Then I topped them three different ways using blue cheese, jalapeño pepper, and walnuts.
I used Medjool dates which come from the Bard Valley in the South of the USA. They are great big huge plump sweet dates. So good and such a treat. You don’t really need a recipe for this – but here’s how I made mine….
18 large fresh dates (if they have pits – slash them and remove the pits)
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup feta
1/4 cup chèvre
1/2 tsp honey
blue cheese crumbles, walnuts, jalapeños or whatever else you like – almonds, olives, pimento, etc.
Mash the cheese and honey together. Cut a slit in the dates and stuff with about one teaspoon of filling. Top however you like. Refrigerate if serving later – but let the dates stand on the counter for a few minutes before serving – they should be around room temperature for optimum flavour.