Goat Cheese and Almond Stuffed Dates

Summer is a time for entertaining, and my friends are always asking me to recommend some quick appetizers with a bit of a wow factor to serve their guests.  Let's face it - you want to be having fun with your guests, not spending all your time sweating in the kitchen.

This appetizer has only five ingredients, takes literally seconds to assemble, and best of all, everyone will think you're a professional chef!  (Full disclosure: if you don't already have all of the ingredients at home, it may require some advance shopping.)

Here are the ingredients in my recipe:

12 pitted dates 

1/4 cup goat cheese 

1/2 cup crushed almonds (unsalted or salted)

2 tbsp chopped parsley 

Pinch of salt

I have a soft spot for dates because they're used a lot in Indian cooking (I'm Indian-American).  I grew up eating them; my Mom would frequently add them to her Indian dishes, like raita and biryani.  Another great thing about dates is that they're a healthy snack for kids and help to curb their sweet tooth.

To make this appetizer, first crush the almonds in a Ziploc bag with a mallet or rolling pin.  Then mix the almonds with the chopped parley in a small bowl.  In another bowl, add the salt to the goat cheese.

Spoon some goat cheese into the cavity of a pitted date.  Be generous!  Dip the date in the almond and parsley mixture.  

Repeat until you've exhausted your supply of dates, and you're done!

If you want to see how I do it, check out this quick video on Instagram.

The burst of flavors and textures are so well balanced, from the creaminess of the goat cheese to the crunchiness of the almonds to the gooiness of the dates - your guests will love it!