These charoset dates evolved during a recent menu brainstorming session while I was mindlessly snacking on bits of nuts and dried fruit. I was thinking about what to cook for a Seder meal, and it hit me that my snack was comprised of the ingredients to make my idea of the best charoset recipe: chopped apricots and toasted pistachios stuffed into a date. They’re sweet, tart, crunchy, gooey, a wee bit salty, mildly boozy, and they’re finger food, meaning you can totally serve these at any party you want. Make extra, because they’ll go quickly.
Charoset Dates (Dates Stuffed with Apricots and Toasted Pistachios)
3/4 cup finely chopped dried California apricots (Turkish apricots are too sweet to use here)
1/4 cup sweet Riesling*
1 lb. medjool dates
3/4 cup toasted and finely chopped pistachios
healthy pinch of kosher salt
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (or just squeeze about half the juice from half of a very juicy lemon)
1. In a small bowl, stir together the apricots and Riesling. Let sit for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apricots have soaked up most of the wine.
2. While the apricots and wine mingle, use a paring knife to cut lengthwise slits in the dates. Remove the pits from each date and discard the pits. One at a time, hold each date with your index finger on one end and your thumb on the other and gently squeeze to open up the cavity in the center a bit to make room for the stuffing.
3. Stir the pistachios, salt, and lemon juice into the apricot mixture. Scoop this mixture into the dates, letting it mound up a little bit. Serve at room temperature, or you can cover and refrigerate them overnight and serve the following day.
*To make charoset without wine, you can soak the apricots in the same amount of another liquid (apple juice or even just a splash of warm water to plump them).