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A Royal Holiday Feast

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Medjool Date, Orange and Almond Salad
Dreamy Medjool Date Pudding Cake with Caramel Infusion
Mascarpone and Peanut Butter Stuffed Medjool Dates
Medjool Date Nut-Stuffed Chicken

(Family Features) Sweet, succulent and with a caramel-like flavor, Medjool dates were once reserved for royalty. But now, you can delight in these luscious fruits any time, giving your holiday and everyday occasions the royal treatment.

Whether you're hosting your own holiday feast, or bringing a special dish to family and friends, Medjools make a regal addition to many recipes. These dishes incorporate Bard Valley Natural Delights, the popular Medjool dates grown by a small group of family farmers in the southwest. They are all-natural, contain no added sugar and are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

For more holiday recipes fit for a king, visit www.naturaldelights.com.

Medjool Date, Orange and Almond Salad

  • 4 to 6 Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates
  • 8 ounces iceberg or mixed green lettuce
  • 2 oranges peeled and separated into segments
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue or goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced or slivered
Orange vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper

    1. Remove pits from dates and cut into quarters. Cut each one more time to yield 8 "cubes" per date.
    2. Combine dates with greens, oranges, cheese and orange vinaigrette and toss. Top with sliced almonds, add fresh ground pepper to taste and serve immediately.
    3. To make vinaigrette: Combine the juice of one orange, Dijon mustard, olive oil and freshly ground pepper, and mix until smooth.
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Preparation Time
15 minutes

Serves 3 to 4
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Dreamy Medjool Date Pudding Cake with Caramel Infusion

  • Butter and powdered cocoa, to prepare pan
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped (about 10)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour, sifted
Caramel sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup butter

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. To prepare baking pan, brush inside of a Bundt pan thoroughly with melted butter. Liberally sprinkle powdered cocoa over butter, then turn upside down and tap to remove excess cocoa.
    3. In small bowl, sprinkle baking soda over dates. Add water and set aside for 20 minutes.
    4. In large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a large metal spoon, fold in date mixture and flour until well mixed. Batter will be thin.
    5. Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to stand for about one minute, then carefully turn onto a plate.
    6. To make the caramel sauce, set saucepan over medium heat and add sugar, cream, vanilla and butter. Cook, stirring often, until sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 more minutes.
    7. While cake is still warm, use a wooden skewer to make holes all over the top of the cake. Pour half of the warm sauce over the warm cake. Garnish with glace cherries, if desired.
    8. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into slices and serve with remaining sauce. Serve immediately.

Preparation Time
75 minutes

Serves 8

Mascarpone and Peanut Butter Stuffed Medjool Dates

  • 1 pound fresh Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates
  • 8 ounces softened cream or mascarpone cheese
  • Assorted nuts, minced
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
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    1. Split one side of each date lengthwise and remove pits.
    2. Arrange dates on serving plate. Stuff half with peanut butter and the other half with cheese. Garnish with minced nuts.

Preparation Time
5 minutes

Serves 5 to 6
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Medjool Date Nut-Stuffed Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely diced
  • 6 to 8 Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
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    1. Heat oven to 400°F.
    2. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft - 5 minutes.
    3. Mix dates, breadcrumbs, nuts, herbs and onion together.
    4. Using a sharp, non-serrated knife, cut a pocket into the thickest part of each chicken breast - being careful not to cut through. Leave approximately 1/2 inch on all sides.
    5. Fill pockets with date mixture, season with salt and pepper and brush both sides with olive oil. Place in a shallow baking dish and pour in the wine.
    6. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.

Preparation Time
45 to 50 minutes

Serves 2
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SOURCE: Bard Valley Medjool Dates

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