Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spicy Lemon Date Spread

The {epic} Oreo Cheesecake Cake for Nathan’s birthday wasn’t the only food I prepared for his party.  The theme of his party was a “beer share”.  He invited all of his craft beer loving friends to bring some craft beer to share.  I wanted to keep things light & snacky, so we had bar snacks like nuts & chex mix, chicken wings (not homemade, from Sam’s Club), a Black Bean Goat Cheese Dip (good, but not as good as I hoped), Nathan’s favorite queso dip with house made tortilla chips from local catering place Chef’s Market, ham sandwiches on cheddar scones also from Chef’s Market, and this Spicy Lemon Date Spread.

I chose this dip thinking it might pair well with some of the lighter, fruit inspired beers that would be at the party.  Whether it did or not I won’t know because #1 I was too busy running around playing hostess to eat much, and #2 I didn’t drink any beer with the whole “growing a human” thing I’ve been busy with.  (I did however drink a fabulous peach sparkling beverage from Target’s Archer Farms brand that was 100x better than that Welch’s crap I drank on New Years.)  What I do know is that I loved eating the leftover date spread the following couple days.  It has a touch of sweetness, a touch of spice, and a wonderful combo of flavors.  This is a dip I can definitely see myself making again.  I also think it would be great combined into some kind of tasty sandwich or wrap, even though I didn’t get around to doing that.


Spicy Lemon Date Spread

Yield: approx 2 cups


2 1/2 cups pitted, chopped dates
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
scant 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
warm naan or pita bread


Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped dates, lemon juice, water, zest, ginger, and spices to the pan. Simmer until almost all of the water is evaporated. The dates will begin to break down, and the simmering mixture will resemble a very thick stew., about 30-45 minutes (I cooked mine a full 45 min, as I wanted it to be nice & thick).

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Place mixture in the bowl of a food processor fit with a blade attachment. Puree mixture until smooth.

Spread is delicious warm and at room temperature. Spread will last, covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days.

slightly adapted from Joy the Baker, who slightly adapted from Party Like a Culinista

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