September 4, 2018

Feta & Walnut Stuffed Dates | Delilah Dirk

          The third volume of Tony Cliff's adventuresome, historical fiction graphic novel series Delilah Dirk was released in August and it is such a fun read! The Pillars of Hercules sets Delilah and Selim on the hunt for treasure and a fabled lost city. There's lots of traveling and sword-fighting and daring escapes, and all kinds of expression for wordless communication between the best of companions. Delilah and Selim are so in sync, even with their differing personalities, they are complimentary–just like these super sweet dates stuffed with salty feta cheese, haha! ;)

          In Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules, dates are mentioned and shown a few times, with one cute scene at the very end in which Selim is just chowing down on them (how can you stand it, Selim? They are soon sweet!). So I knew I wanted to make something with dates, and I wanted to make something relatively simple that could be an appetizer; something Selim might like to keep picking up while having a content moment at an outside table under an umbrella with Delilah seated across from him, bantering and relaxing before the next adventure.


Note: This recipe yields about 10-11 dates, but feel free to scale it up or down. The basics are simply dates + feta + walnuts + thyme. You can totally fudge the amounts.
          Also, as an alternative, instead of crumbling and stirring everything up together to put inside the dates, you could simply shove a cut chunk of feta into the date along with a walnut half and a thyme garnish. Easy-peasy. :)



Feta & Walnut Stuffed Dates

Ingredients:
~200g Dates (not the dried kind), equals ~10-11
3 oz. Plain Feta Cheese
1 Tbsp. Greek Yogurt
2 Tbsp. Cup Minced Walnuts, + ~10-11 Walnut quarters (as many as you have dates)
2 tsp. Minced Fresh Thyme (plus tiny sprigs for optional garnish)
1/2 tsp. Orange Zest (optional)
Prosciutto Slices (optional), or other salty cured meat.

Directions:
Make a lengthwise slit into each date & remove the seed, discarding it.
If you'd like to add prosciutto (or other salty meat), press a small piece of meat inside each date (I folded pieces of prosciutto & then cut them to fit). Adding meat is totally optional.
Sit the dates on a serving plate until ready to stuff with feta.

In a medium bowl combine the feta, yogurt, walnuts, thyme, & optional orange zest, until all ingredients are evenly distributed (you can use a food processor or a fork or your hands).
Gather up small amounts of the mixture, about 1 tsp-worth or so, & compress them in your hand to make rough little ovals. Press one into each date, adding more feta mixture if you'd like.

Top each stuffed date with a half walnut piece pressed in, plus a little bit of fresh thyme.
If you have feta mixture left over, use it as a yummy salad topping. :)
Store any leftover stuffed dates in a container in the fridge for a couple of days.


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