Recipe: Medjool Dates, Apricots and Wild Rice Casserole
Medjool dates, which were cultivated in the Middle East over 6,000 years ago, are called the ‘king of dates’ because they are the largest of the hundreds of date varieties — and they were once reserved only for Moroccan royalty.
The fruit is known for its flavour, but also its healthy benefits. Medjool dates are fat and cholesterol free and a source of fibre, energy and magnesium.
Wild rice mix, enough to yield 4 cups (1L) when cooked
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) dried rosemary
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried thyme
1 cup (250 mL) Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped
1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
½ cup (125 mL) dried apricots, diced
⅔ cup (160 mL) cooked ham, diced
¾ tsp (4 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
— Cook wild rice mix according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
— In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, sauté onions and celery in butter for 4-5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in rosemary and thyme and remove from heat.
— In a large bowl, combine cooked rice with onion-celery herb mixture and add chopped Medjool Dates, apple, apricots and ham. Season with salt and pepper.
— Spoon into a buttered 2-quart (2 L) baking dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until hot.