A SIMPLE ZUNI DESSERT

DATES stuffed with MASCARPONE, POMEGRANATE, PISTACHIOS + MANDARINS, BLOOD ORANGES  and a splash of ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER

INGREDIENTS adapted from Judy Rodgers' The Zuni Cafe Cookbook

  • 4 mandarins
  • 2 blood oranges
  • splash of orange blossom water 
  • 8 ripe dates - Medjools are always my favorite
  • 8 teaspoons mascarpone
  • 30 toasted salted pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped
  • seeds from 1/2 pomegranate

Prep mandarins and blood oranges by slicing the top and bottom off the unpeeled fruit. Resting each orange on its flat bottom, use a sharp knife to cut off strips of peel and pith, rotating the citrus and cutting until the fruit is naked and ready to be sliced. Once the peel is removed, slice the citrus horizontally into nice pinwheels. Scatter the citrus rounds onto a plate. Add a light splash of orange blossom water to the citrus - I'm amazed at the dreamy way the orange blossom water heightens the natural perfume of the fresh citrus slices.

Cut each date with a slice large enough to remove and discard the pits. Carefully stuff each date cavity with 1 teaspoon mascarpone. Press some chopped pistachio and pomegranate seeds onto the mascarpone. Scatter the remaining pistachio and pomegranate onto the plate if you so desire.

Rodgers' brilliant combination of flavors, textures, and colors is the embodiment of seasonal brightness on a plate. Thank you Judy.

SERVES 4

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