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Photo by: Mark Ferri
Slit each date lengthwise and remove the pit. Slice each date into two equal lengthwise pieces. Using a sturdy rubber spatula or a fork, combine the cheeses until well mixed, then season to taste with black pepper. Use a small spreader to fill each date half with the cheese, spreading it out flush with rim of the fruit.
Place a doubled piece of paper towel on a plate and set it aside. Melt the butter in a small 8-inch skillet over medium heat and, when hot and bubbling, add the chopped walnuts. Sauté the nuts, stirring constantly, until light golden, being careful not to scorch them. Transfer the nuts to the paper towels to drain. Keep the nuts warm until ready to assemble and serve.
Just before serving, dip each stuffed date, cheese side down, in the sautéed nuts and place them right side up on your platter. Sprinkle the tops lightly with salt and serve.
Timing is Everything:
The dates can be filled with cheese one day ahead and kept refrigerated, well covered.
The nuts can be pan toasted a few hours ahead. Just before serving, rewarm them for 5 minutes on a shallow baking sheet at 350°F., wrapped loosely in an aluminum foil pouch.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 32 servings and does not include salt garnish.
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