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Stuffed Dates with Vegan Cashew Cheese

These stuffed dates with vegan ricotta cheese are candy, savory, and fully irresistable! A ending drizzle of herb-infused agave syrup takes their taste to new heights. The dates are good hors d’oeuvres for entertaining, they usually additionally make an important, plant-based snack.

Three sweet and savory stuffed dates, which are topped with pistachio nuts, rest on a white, round appetizer plate.

I like Medjool dates a lot that it’s typically onerous to see any motive for embellishing them. Should you ask me, they’re some of the good meals: nature’s sweet!

At any time when I do incorporate dates into recipes, nevertheless, I’m reminded of how culinarily versatile they’re.

I typically add chopped Medjool dates to salads or grain salads. The add irresistable pockets of sweetness to my Israeli couscous and roasted cauliflower salad, for example.

The comfortable texture of Medjool dates makes it straightforward to mix them up in sauces and dressings. I like turning them right into a naturally sweetened, home made date BBQ sauce.

Talking of sauce, Medjool dates create essentially the most good vegan salted caramel sauce I’ve ever made. There’s nothing higher than drizzling it onto vegan vanilla ice cream!

Whereas we’re on the subject of dessert, vegan sticky toffee pudding is considered one of my favourite desserts of all time, and dates are the important thing to its texture and taste.

As you possibly can see, these recipes that I’ve listed fall squarely into two classes: candy and savory. The recipe that I’m sharing right now, stuffed dates with vegan ricotta cheese, is each.

A candy & salty delight

The dates on this recipe are themselves, after all, naturally and delightfully candy. However the vegan cheese that will get stuffed into their facilities—constructed from cashews and tofu—is salty and savory.

Even the toppings bridge the savory and candy divide: they’re chopped, salted, roasted pistachios and an herb-infused drizzle of agave syrup.

I’ve all the time cherished candy and salty mixtures, and I believe that these dates are a dream to eat.

I’m not the one one who provides them two enthusiastic thumbs up, although: I served the stuffed dates to mates just a few months in the past, in a late winter gathering. They had been universally cherished and disappeared nearly instantly. I’m so glad to be (lastly!) sharing the recipe.

A storage container has been filled with brown, pitted Medjool dates.

What are stuffed dates?

What precisely does it imply to stuff a date?

It’s fairly easy, really. Dates have seeds, which are sometimes referred to as pits. They’re not edible of their entire kind.

Date pits can be utilized to make espresso, together with different functions. But it surely’s customary for people who’re snacking on dates to take away the pits first; some dates are offered already pitted.

Whenever you take away the pit from an entire date, there’s a handy little pocket left within the date inside. This pocket may be “stuffed” with a filling of some type.

I’ve made many iterations of candy stuffed dates. Protein peanut butter stuffed dates—principally, plant protein powder and peanut butter, stuffed into the middle of a chocolate-dipped date—are a favourite. They style like snickers bars!

These savory vegan stuffed dates are full of considered one of my favourite, home made culinary staples: 10-minute vegan ricotta cheese.

Raw cashews soak in a bowl of warm water.

Vegan cheese, please

Like many individuals, I discovered that the toughest meals to transition away from after I turned vegan was dairy cheese.

Retailer-bought plant-based cheeses have come fairly a great distance within the years since I turned vegan. There at the moment are so many choices, some stocked in shops throughout the nation, others native and artisanal.

Earlier than such choices existed, I discovered how one can make home made cashew cheese.

Like goat cheese, my vegan cashew cheese is a bit tangy and salty, and dietary yeast provides it some “tacky” taste.

That cashew cheese recipe gave method to different home made vegan cheeses: melty vegan cashew mozzarella, vegan feta cheese, cashew parmesan, and cashew queso.

My 10-minute vegan ricotta cheese is an excellent evolution of the unique cashew cheese recipe. It has the same taste, however a barely lighter texture.

It may be utilized in all the similar methods you may use ricotta—together with stuffed dates.

An overhead image of a small, white pinch bowl filled with vegan ricotta cheese.

Can I exploit store-bought vegan ricotta as a substitute?

Sure, you possibly can! I’m a fan of the Kite Hill model ricotta myself.

What sort of dates ought to I exploit for stuffed dates?

There are a selection of varieties of date fruits. The dates that I like to recommend for this stuffed date recipe are Medjool dates.

Medjool dates may be ordered on-line or present in shops throughout the US. They’ve a really comfortable texture, and their signature sweetness is harking back to caramel.

Medjool dates are native to Morocco, however right now, they’re additionally grown in international locations throughout the Center East, in addition to in Africa and South Asia.

My favourite Medjool dates to snack on and use in recipes come from the Rancho Meladuco date farm in California.

Joan Smith started the date farm with 4 date bushes that had been planted in her private residence many years in the past. Her dates are a number of the most flavorful I’ve ever had, they usually’re all the time contemporary and candy after they arrive to me.

For the stuffed date recipe, you should utilize your personal favourite Medjool dates, both from an area store or from a grower you like.

It doesn’t matter what, nevertheless, I do suggest utilizing Medjool dates, slightly than one other selection. They offer these stuffed dates their sumptuousness and depth of taste.

Herb-infused agave syrup

Home made vegan ricotta and the dates themselves are centerpieces of this recipe. Nevertheless, two toppings make the stuffed dates much more particular.

The primary is chopped, roasted pistachio nuts. You should buy salted and roasted or plain roasted, whichever you want. I like to purchase pistachios with no shells, because it saves me the trouble of eradicating the shells from them.

If pistachios aren’t for you, you could possibly substitute one other roasted and salted, chopped nut as a substitute. Walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nuts would all work nicely.

In case you have a tree nut allergy however can eat seeds, you could possibly strive toasted and salted, chopped pepitas as nicely.

The second topping was a primary for me, one thing I’ve by no means tried earlier than.

I used to be questioning if a drizzle of agave could be good on high of the dates. The extra I thought of it, the extra I concluded that sure, it might be.

However I wished to proceed with the candy and savory theme.

A metal saucepan is filled with syrup and fresh, bright green herbs.

Ultimately, I made a decision to do an herb-infused agave syrup. And I’m so glad that I did.

The style of herbs within the syrup is delicate, but it surely’s particular, and it’s there. Just a little goes a great distance, and leftover syrup can discover its approach onto vegan ricotta toast, savory oats, salads, baked candy potato, and a lot extra.

Learn how to make vegan stuffed dates

There are some to creating these stuffed dates, however none of them are particularly onerous or time consuming. Right here’s how one can create the right celebration appetizer, one step at a time.

Step 1: Make the herb syrup

That is actually so simple as bringing agave syrup and a bundle of herbs to a simmer for ten minutes, then permitting it to face for one more 20 minutes.

A small, metal saucepan holds warm syrup that's been infused with herbs.

Pressure the syrup, then both retailer it within the fridge for as much as 1 week or transfer ahead with the recipe.

A jar of herb infused agave syrup rests on a white surface.

Step 2: Take away the pits out of your dates and chop up your pistachios

This step is self-explanatory!

A white, rectangular porcelain container holds stuffed dates with vegan cashew cheese, chopped pistachio nuts, and a drizzle of syrup. It rests on a white surface.

Step 3: Stuff the dates

Right here, you’ll simply add a couple of tablespoon (or a smidge much less) of vegan ricotta to the middle of every date. I exploit a teaspoon to do that.

A jar of warm, herb-infused syrup is placed next to a small, white serving plate with stuffed dates.

Step 4: Toppings, toppings

Lastly, you’ll high the stuffed dates along with your chopped pistachio nuts and drizzle them with the syrup.

And that’s it! Your stunning stuffed dates are able to eat.

Whenever you make the recipe, I like to recommend having the vegan ricotta prepped and able to go: it can make meeting really feel rather a lot smoother and extra seamless.

A slice of toast has been drizzled with syrup and topped with a whipped, white spread. It rests on a round, white plate.

Vegan ricotta may be saved in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 4 days. Use your leftovers on toast or in vegan pasta dishes.

Meal prep & storage

Talking of storage, you possibly can completely put together the stuffed dates forward of time. This could be particularly helpful when you intend to serve them for entertaining.

I like to recommend drizzling the nice and cozy, herb-infused agave syrup solely proper earlier than you serve the dates. However they are often stuffed and topped with the pistachios, transferred to a storage container and saved within the fridge for as much as 3 days.

A close-up, overhead image of stuffed dates, which have been made with vegan cashew cheese. The dates are topped with chopped pistachio nuts and drizzled with herb infused syrup.

Taste variations

There are many methods to range the flavour profiles of this recipe.

You would add totally different herbs to the agave syrup, or you could possibly substitute it with date syrup or pomegranate molasses.

You would high the dates with spiced nuts or vegan candied pecans or vegan candied walnuts. Additionally, you possibly can change the topping altogether: I’m desirous to strive the dates with crumbled tempeh bacon.

Should you like, you could possibly add Italian seasoning to the ricotta, or you could possibly fold chopped, sun-dried tomatoes into it. To emphasise the candy notes right here, you could possibly add a pinch of cinnamon to the ricotta, too.

Principally, use your judgment, and let your style buds prepared the ground.

Right here’s the bottom recipe.

Three dates, which have been stuffed with a plant-based cashew cheese, are resting on a round, white rimmed appetizer plate.
Three sweet and savory stuffed dates, which are topped with pistachio nuts, rest on a white, round appetizer plate.

Stuffed Dates with Vegan Ricotta Cheese

Creator – Gena Hamshaw

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Whole Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 16 stuffed dates

For the herb-infused syrup:

  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 4 sprigs contemporary thyme
  • 4 sprigs contemporary rosemary
  • 4 contemporary sage leaves

For the stuffed dates:

  • 16 Medjool dates
  • 1 cup (heaping) 10-minute vegan ricotta cheese (about half of a batch; the remainder can be utilized in recipes, as a topping for toast, or frozen till wanted)
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachios, shells eliminated, salted or unsalted (60g; substitute walnuts, almonds, or one other nut of alternative)
  • Carry the agave syrup and the herbs to a simmer over low warmth in a small, non-reactive saucepan (I like to make use of nonstick). Simmer, lined, over very low warmth for 10 minutes. Take away the saucepan from warmth and permit it to face for 20 minutes. Pressure the agave syrup by means of a small sieve right into a mason jar or one other small, warmth proof container for storage. Retailer the syrup within the fridge for as much as 1 week. 

  • Slice all the Medjool dates lengthwise down the middle and take away the pits.

  • By hand or in a meals processor fitted with the S blade, roughly chop or pulse the pistachios till they’re roughly chopped.

  • To arrange the dates, stuff the middle of every date with 2-3 teaspoons of vegan ricotta cheese. Sprinkle the dates with the chopped nuts. Lastly, drizzle all the dates with the herb-infused syrup, about 1-2 teaspoons over every date. Serve or retailer.

Retailer stuffed dates within the fridge for as much as 3 days. Reserve drizzling the syrup till proper earlier than serving.

Take a look at that, a recipe put up!

I do know it’s been some time. However that is such an important recipe to get again into the swing of issues with. These dates are a delight, and although I first made them months in the past, I do know that they’ll be a dish I share with visitors and mates repeatedly.

I hope you’ll love them, too.




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