I was looking for a festive recipe on here to share on Instagram that WASN’T a dessert. I found none. Zilch! Now most of my recipes here aren’t in fact desserts since I am more of a savory gal, but I guess there is something about Christmas that makes me change modes.
I am trying to mitigate that lack of festive non-dessert recipes this week. These cranberry stuffed dates do read on the sweeter side, but they are an appetizer. So, they’ll be a welcome addition to here! And in a few days I will be sharing my favorite kale salad which adds seasonal greens to festive tables.
These dates have a warm place in my heart because the first time I made them was two years ago when I was visiting my old town near Thanksgiving and wanted an excuse to get together with friends. A party for my birthday seemed like a good enough of an excuse. These were one of the argumentatively too-many* dishes I made and probably my favorite.
*Is there such a thing when a food blogger throws a birthday party? I have been informed there is…. but I do have my doubts.
These only have a few ingredients, that simply compliment each other well without a bunch of bells and whistles thrown in. You have sweetness from the dates, crunchy tanginess from the cranberries, tart creaminess from the feta, and a touch of freshness and a pop of green from the basil. They are about as easy as you can get while still being very festive and unique (I love classics party dishes but usually can count on them already being at a party).
If you give them a go let me know! Tag me on instragram because I love seeing when you make my recipes.
Note 1: My husband requests he gets visual management credit for the arrangement of stuffed dates in the first photo. So, Babe, consider this your credit. Thanks for arranging the dates while I was running around like a mad woman doing other things so we wouldn’t be too terribly late for small group.
Note 2: To help pay my visual management staff as well as other blog producing and family living expenses, the following recipe has affiliate links. Purchases through said link(s) cost nothing extra, but I earn a small commission.
Note 3: Apologies to my small group for being late due to the afore shown photos. Glad y’all liked the dates though!
- 2 cups cranberries
- 4 oz feta cheese
- 1 TBSP honey
- Basil to garnish (see recipe for notes on the amount)
- ~30 medjool dates* (~1 lb 4 oz)
- Use a knife (a butter knife will do) to cut a slit down the date and remove the put. Gently shape the sides of the cut up to create a "cup" for the filling. This is a sticky annoying job such as my kids enjoy doing and I REALLY enjoy the fact that they do!
- Put the cranberries in a food processor and pulse about 10 times to get them finely diced.
- Add the feta and honey, pulse it in.
- Put 1 TBSP or so of the mixture into each date.
- I had very tiny leaves of basil so put ½-1 leave onto each one using around 20 leaves. If you are using the really big leaves (1½-2" long) you will probably only need 3-4 or more for medium size ones. If using big leaves roll and slice into chiffonades. Place a few chiffonades on each one. I think a decent bit of basil works well in this case because all the other flavors are somewhat "heavy" on either sweet or salt and it adds a good freshness.