Two On the Town for Date Night
By Apicius (de re coquinaria)
It mixes simple tastes such as honey and dates, yet combined in a forgotten fashion. An unexpected pleasure.– Giorgio Pirazzini
Dates are a drupe – a fleshy fruit with a hard pit protecting a seed. There are several varieties though Medjools are probably best known because they are soft pillows of delicious that people eat as sweets.
As a source of calcium they aren’t celebrated but wait – 100g of dates contains 13% of that prized and hard-to-find-in-diet magnesium which is essential for calcium transport.
A heavy-bottom or nonstick frying pan
A pretty serving plate rubbed lightly with coconut oil
4 oz walnut meats
1/4 cup of honey
a pinch of sea salt, ground
Pit the dates by slitting them along one side. Fill them with broken walnut meats, * pine nuts or even freshly ground black pepper.
Roll them in ground sea salt. (Don’t ask, just do it Giorgio says.)
Add honey to the pan. Sit the dates in the honey. Heat on medium for 5 – 10 minutes or until they are caramelized.
Remove dates to the oiled plate leaving some space between each one.
Don’t crush walnut meats; crushing leaves a bitter powdery residue. Instead, break them apart gently by hand.
Have a Ball
Dates, tahini, seed oil and spices make up into a number of satisfying, delicious, chewy raw desserts. Most recipes we’ve seen use a ratio of 2 cups dates to 1 cup tahini and 4 tablespoons of coconut oil. Cardamom and cinnamon bring out the flavor of these three ingredients but you can even make them savory with cumin.
You can use sweet tamarind in place of some dates. Tamarind has a long history in traditional medicine acting against inflammation and lowering low density lipoprotein. In addition, of particular interest here, the pulp has a date-like consistency, it is particularly rich in thiamine and is a rare source of magnesium. Other nutrients include calcium, copper, potassium, iron, selenium, and zinc. You’ll need to scrape the tamarind pulp and soak it before using it for this or other dishes.
The seeds of one zingiberaceae, the ginger family of about 1300 plants, is cardamom. When you ask people what cardamom tastes like, you begin to think it’s a wine when you hear answers like a mix of ginger and grapefruit, floral notes, menthol undertone. But the flavor does seem to float by with a hint of sweetness, subtle and aromatic, and the chews are memorable. If you use cardamom, grind your own from seeds. They’re costly but you only need a little.
Makes 12-18 pieces.
Cookie sheet or similar
Parchment paper to fit
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup tahini *
grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, cardamom or cumin
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, chia oil or hemp oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
optional: if making the food savory with cumin, add in a tiny pinch of ground red pepper flakes
Mix everything except salt in a food processor. Line a pan with parchment paper.
Roll into balls. Roll each ball very lightly in ground sea salt
Freeze for an hour.
* Make Your Own Tahini Recipe in The HEALTHY BONES Book page234.