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Naz's Harissa Yogurt Stuffed Dates

Naz DeravianComment
Naz Deravian's Harissa Yogurt Stuffed Dates | 

Allow me to introduce my new favorite post-workout snack: sweet, juicy Medjool dates stuffed with tangy, creamy, harissa-spiked Greek yogurt. For the uninitiated, harissa is a complex-flavored, bright red chili-based paste available in Middle Eastern markets. The harissa’s subtle (or not so subtle) jolt will make you quickly forget the pain and drudgery of your workout and send you back for more… so you can justify another luscious bite. Workout or no workout, you can serve these sweet, savory, lightly spiced bites as an appetizer alongside a glass of cool, dry rosé. There’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of backyard barbecue and patio season. Happy Summer!

Recipe for Naz's Harissa Yogurt Stuffed Dates

I'm able to find gorgeous dates in the deli case at my local Iranian market. If you don't have access to an Iranian or other Middle Eastern or international market (which is where you'll also find the harissa and rose petals), head to your local natural foods store. Select the largest, juiciest-looking Medjool dates you can find.

These dates can be stuffed and garnished to varying degrees of fancy. To keep things simple, stuff them with plain yogurt. Or, dress them up with a little sprinkling of rose dust (powdered dried rose petals) as I’ve done here. Aleppo pepper, cayenne, or sumac would also be lovely, and equally elegant, garnishes.

Makes 8 portions

¼ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
Harissa, to taste
8 large, juicy Medjool dates, pitted
2 jarred roasted red peppers, sliced, for garnish
Rose dust, for optional garnish

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt with ¼ teaspoon of harissa, adding more harissa to taste. Generously fill each date with the harissa yogurt. Drape each stuffed date with the roasted red pepper and a sprinkling of rose dust, if using. Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator for a few hours. (These are fantastic served cold.) Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

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Words, Photograph + Recipe by Naz Deravian