Serving tasty appetizers is the best way to start a night of entertaining in your home. Serving tasty appetizers that have the flavor trifecta of salty, sweet and savory is the best way to ensure that your guests will want to come back again.
Medjool dates are often perceived as difficult to find at the grocery store and therefore, an exotic food. In reality, they’re a seasonal food just like peaches or plums, seldom available in certain parts of the country in the dead of winter. During the peak date season, which starts in September and continues through November, the deep amber brown delicacies should be readily available at gourmet and even mainstream markets.
With a slightly crinkly skin that shimmers from natural sugar, Medjools have sticky flesh that taste of caramel, honey and cinnamon. They tend to melt in your mouth as though they’ve been warmed in the oven, making them more of a sweet treat than your average fruit.
Even so, dates are considered the oldest cultivated fruit in the world. Fossils show that date palm trees thrived 50 million years ago and the fruit of the date palm was eaten as far back as 5,000-6,000 B.C.E.. They’ve been cultivated for about 6,000 years in the Middle East.
That might be too much history for one day, so let’s just say this: whether it’s a quiet night with friends or a big crowd to watch a special game, these hors d’oeuvres are perfect for noshing or pairing with your favorite wine
- 1 pound Medjool dates, pitted
- 4 ounces blue cheese
- ½ pound prosciutto, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- To pit dates, slice each one in half lengthwise and open them up. Pinch off pieces of blue cheese, and place them into the center of the dates. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of prosciutto around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick (optional). Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the prosciutto begins to crisp. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.