Honey-"fried" Salted Stuffed Dates

This recipe is from the c. early 5th c. CE Roman cookbook "De re coquinaria" attributed to "Caelius Apicius" who may or may not have been one real person.

In the tradition of a proper Roman recipe, measurements and quantites are not to be given. You can probably figure them out well enough.

Dates, preferably not machine pitted
Coarse (kosher) salt
Hazelnuts or Pine nuts or coarsely ground black pepper (as a filling for the dates)
Red wine, vinegar or rose water (optional)

Hand-pit the dates by slicing along the side and removing the stone. This will make a nice pocket for the fillings.

Hazelnuts should be chopped, pine nuts can be used whole, and peppercorns should be very coarsely ground, such as in a mortar and pestle.

Stuff the dates with about 1-1.5 hazelnuts, 2-3 pine nuts, or about 1/8 tsp of coarse pepper. You could even try more than one of the ingredients. You should be able to seal the hole, as the date will stick to itself.

Roll the dates in coarse salt to coat.

Heat the honey, which you may want to dilute with a small amount of red wine, vinegar (plus some water) or rose water, in a frying pan until it just begins to bubble.

Coat the dates in the hot honey for just a few seconds. You may want to only partially coat them so that the coarse salt is visible on one side.

Serve at your next Roman feast!

Return to my home page.

URL: http://www.stanford.edu/~dru/dates.html