After I attended the GoCheese tasting with Chef Ranveer Brar last year, I have been tempted to try out more and more dishes that use cheese. Before the event, my usage of cheese in the kitchen used to be limited to pizzas, sandwiches and, at the most, cheese parathas. Now, though, I look at cheese very differently – I do a lot more with it.
Here is one cheesy experiment of mine that turned out to be a huge hit, recently – dates stuffed with blue cheese and nuts. I got hold of some lovely, big, fat and juicy Nabud Sultan dates from Ajfan Dates & Nuts, the store that I love so very much. I had on hand some beautiful blue cheese from The Creamery. Serendipitously, I found this recipe by Martha Stewart for cheese-stuffed dates, and the two beautiful ingredients came together to make a gorgeous tea-time snack.
Blue cheese has a rather strong, pungent smell, which makes it a cheese that isn’t meant for everyone. The appreciation of blue cheese requires an acquired taste, they say. However, I took to blue cheese the very first time I tasted it, spread in a little quantity over a pizza at Toscano. This is the first time, though, that I have actually made something with blue cheese at home.
Without further ado, now, let’s move on to the recipe for the cheese-stuffed dates, shall we?
I made my own little variations to the original recipe.
Ingredients (for 6 pieces):
- 3 big dates, seeds removed, cut into two
- A few walnut kernels, chopped into small pieces
- A few roasted and salted almonds, chopped into small pieces
- Soft blue cheese, as needed
- Make a layer of some chopped almonds over each date half.
- Spread a little blue cheese over the almonds.
- Garnish with some chopped walnuts.
- Serve immediately. Yes, as easy as that!
- The dates I used were quite big, so I cut each one into two to make the appetiser. If you are using smaller-sized dates, use six full, de-seeded dates to make the dish.
- Make sure you use only a little quantity of blue cheese, as the smell can be quite overpowering.
- Use good-quality, soft blue cheese for best results.
- I used almonds and walnuts to make this appetiser, because those are the only two nuts I had on hand. You can use any kind of nuts to make this dish – the nuts give it a nice crunch.
- Use juicy dates like Nabud Sultan or Mejdool to make this dish, for best results.
- If you are not a big fan of blue cheese, you can use any other sharp-flavoured cheese, like Gouda for instance. If the cheese you are using is hard and not soft, grate it before you fill it into the dates.
Try this out to believe just how simple yet gorgeous it is!