A few days ago, I got the idea to start recreating some of the dishes from the dinner the night of our engagement. We actually have the menu framed in our kitchen! Since I don’t have easy access to things like fennel pollen, iberico lardo, and saba, I’ve made quite a few adjustments to the dishes. It’s still fun to try to recreate them though!
I usually find dates a little too sweet for my liking, but these honey goat cheese dates are perfect. These dates were served as an intermezzo during our dinner. An intermezzo is a small bite that serves as a palate cleanser during a multi-course meal. Sorbet is probably one of the most common intermezzos, but there are many other options. Even something as simple as sparkling water with cucumber may be served as a palate cleanser.
Since dried dates are quite sweet, the goat cheese plays an important role in balancing the flavor. I used honey goat cheese, but you can also use regular goat cheese and mix in a little honey as well. I added the walnuts as a textural element. They give these bites a nice crunch.
Since the dates were served as an intermezzo, I looked for smaller dates at the grocery store. They were all gigantic. Definitely not something you could pop into your mouth in one bite. Don’t let my photographs fool you, these are enormous.
I ate these honey goat cheese dates as an afternoon snack, so I dealt with the large size. However, if I were going to serve them as a true intermezzo, I would halve them. Then, they would look like little goat cheese stuffed date boats!
Right before serving, drizzle a little honey over the walnuts. You don’t need much. The honey just helps tie all of the ingredients together.
These dates would also be perfect as part of a cheese platter for a party. I always get into a bit of trouble if there is a cheese platter present. Since I have a bit of an obsession with cheese, I always fill up on cheese and never actually have room for dinner.
Trust me, it was hard for me not to eat all of these dates at once.
I’m really excited about sharing the next dish from our engagement dinner with you. It’s different than anything I’ve made before. I’ll give you a hint, beets are involved.
- 12 medjool dates, pitted
- 3 oz honey goat cheese
- 3 tbsp walnuts, chopped
- 2 tbsp honey
- fresh thyme, for garnish
- Slice an opening into one side of the date. Fill with a spoonful of goat cheese and top with a few chopped walnut pieces.
- Repeat with the remaining dates.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until use. Prior to serving, garnish with fresh thyme leaves and drizzle with honey.