Food Security and Sustainability
Dates — a very sweet fruit that's high in potassium and fiber — have a 5,000-year history in the Middle East and parts of the Mediterranean. Often mixed into sweet-savory main dishes and desserts, dates are traditionally eaten as the first food when breaking the fast during Ramadan. Stuffed with nuts, soft cheese and dried fruit, dates provide a sweet complement to savory dishes during autumn and winter holiday dinners … and they're a fast, elegant, seemingly "decadent" option with sweet desserts.
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons finely-snipped fresh rosemary
¾ pound (about 24) pitted fresh Medjool dates
½ cup (about 1½ ounces) coarsely-chopped walnuts
Fresh rosemary, for garnish
Before you begin: Wash your hands.
- Combine mascarpone cheese and rosemary in a small bowl, incorporating well. Cover. Refrigerate for about 1 hour for flavors to blend.
- Slit the dates along one side. Stuff each date with about 1 teaspoon mascarpone cheese mixture, leaving the slit slightly open to expose the cheese mixture.
- Dip the cheese-stuffed dates in the walnuts along the slit, allowing the walnuts to coat the cheese mixture.
- Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.
- Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.
Serving size: 2 dates
Calories: 150; Calories from fat: 70; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 2.5g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 10mg; Sodium: 5mg; Total carbohydrate: 22g; Dietary fiber: 2g; Sugars: 19g; Protein: 2g
Roberta Duyff, MS, RD, FAND, is author of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide and 365 Days of Healthy Eating.
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