Sunday, July 15, 2018

In search of date recipes.

Alert hearth/myth readers will recall that some months back, I signed up for a service called Hungry Harvest. Every other week, I receive a box full of produce that would otherwise have gone to waste -- either the wholesalers bought too much of it, or the item is the wrong size or has surface blemishes that would make grocery shoppers pass it up. And it's all been perfectly fine, and perfectly delicious, so far.

For instance, this week's box included two green bell peppers and a seedless cucumber. I knew exactly what to do with those, thanks to a recipe I'd spotted in the Washington Post for Jose Andres's gazpacho. Gazpacho is a perfect summer soup -- a tasty alternative when it's too hot to cook and you're sick of salads. (Also, it's not spicy. Most Spanish-from-Spain food isn't spicy. You're thinking of Mexican food -- some of which is also not spicy. But I digress.)

I also received some apples and oranges, a bunch of kale (homemade kale chips, yay!), a broccoli crown, some little carrots (not baby carrots -- these are unpeeled and about four inches long each), and a pomegranate. Most of those will go in my lunch bag over the course of the coming week, but I think a bunch of the pomegranate seeds will end up mixed in with Greek yogurt as a snack. 

By the way, getting at the seeds inside a pomegranate is easy. Amy saw it on Facebook -- you make lengthwise cuts along the ridges on the outside of the fruit, then cut off the top, reach into the middle with your thumbs, and pull it apart. Presto! (See? Facebook is good for something, after all.)

Sometimes, however, the selections have me stumped. This week, it's my fault.

Gazpacho, pomegranates in yogurt, and those darned dates.
In addition to the regular box (which varies every time, depending on what's available), you can select add-ons. This week I bought a couple of avocados and an eight-ounce package of Medjool dates. The avocados aren't a problem; I use them in place of cheese in omelets, and there's always avocado toast. (I tried making guacamole once. It didn't end well.) 

The dates, though. I'm not sure what to do with them.

I checked through some of my cookbooks and didn't see anything date-related that floated my boat. I also asked Mama Google, but she wasn't much help. I'm seeing a lot of dates with coconut (which I'm not a big fan of), dates with bacon (honestly, you bacon people...), dates and pomegranate seeds (hey! I have those!) as a salad topper, and dates in various types of cookies and quick breads.

So dear hearth/myth readers, I turn to you: Anybody got a good recipe for dates? 

Thanks in advance. I'll report back next week.

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These moments of bloggy inventiveness have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.
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