A Delicious Date

Spring has sprung! It is that special time of year when we all come out of hibernation. For some, this can mean having more company over to soak in the new season. Start the evening off with a crisp white wine and goat cheese-stuffed dates.

cheese-stuffed dates with prosciutto
by Giada Di Laurentiis from Giada at Home

4 to 6 servings

The sweetest, best kind of dates are Medjools. They’re large, so they are easy to fill, meaty and chewy. Stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto, they provide a perfect sweet-salty mouthful in every bite. Serve these with a crisp white wine as the ideal before-dinner tidbit.

¼ cup (2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup (2 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 Medjool dates (12 ounces)
8 thin slices prosciutto, halved lengthwise

Special equipment
16 toothpicks or cocktail picks

In a small bowl, mix together the cheeses and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

With a knife, make a lengthwise incision in each date. Gently open the dates slightly and remove the pits. Spoon about ½ teaspoon cheese mixture inside each one. Close the dates around the filling. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each date and secure with a toothpick.

Arrange the stuffed dates on a platter and serve.

Excerpted from Giada at Home by Giada De Laurentiis Copyright © 2010 by Giada De Laurentiis. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.