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.
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.