One of our most popular Facebook posts back in 2016 is also one of our easiest appetizers ever—sweet, chewy Medjool dates deliciously paired with salty Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and slightly bitter walnuts. You can assemble this simple starter up to 8 hours in advance and heat just before serving. It’s make-ahead qualities affirmed, it’s 4-ingredient status more than welcome, and it’s sweet-salty flavor inspiring, this delicious appetizer is one we’ve committed to memory.
Warm Dates with Parmesan and Walnuts
- 24 large dates, preferably Medjool
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2-oz. (60-g) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 24 walnut halves
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Using a paring knife, make a small lengthwise incision in each date and carefully remove the pit. In a bowl, gently toss the pitted dates with the 2 tsp. olive oil.
3. Arrange the dates, slit side up, in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the cheese into bite-size shavings. Tuck 1 or 2 cheese shavings and a walnut half into each date.
4. Bake until the dates are warmed through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with more olive oil and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.
Recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma Cheese, by Georgeanne Brennan