The sweetest, best kind of dates are Medjools. They’re large, so they’re easy to fill, and when tuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto, they provide a perfect sweet-salty mouthful in every bite. Serve them with a crisp white wine as an ideal before-dinner nibble.–Giada de Laurentiis
LC Gently Does It Note
Tempted to rush headlong into assembling—and consuming—this classic appetizer? A touch of patience, please. Don’t rush through this cinch of a hostess trick so quickly that you get sloppy when you ease the pits from the dates and tuck the goat cheese inside. After all, though they’ll disappear quickly, you want them to look beautiful on that platter.
Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto
Serves 4 to 6
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In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese and mascarpone cheese and basil, if using. Season with salt and pepper.
Using a sharp paring knife, make a lengthwise incision about 1 inch long in each date. Using the tip of the knife, gently prod open the dates enough to remove the pits.
Carefully spoon about 1/2 teaspoon cheese mixture inside each date. Gently press the dates to close the slit around the filling.
Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each date and secure with a toothpick or cocktail pick.
Arrange the tidily stuffed dates on a platter and serve.
Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto Recipe © 2010 Giada de Laurentiis. Photo © 2010 Jonelle Weaver. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.