Some Background Story on these Prosciutto-wrapped Dates
Here is a recipe for prosciutto-wrapped dates that’s been kept in file for more than a year (the recipe, not the dates, they never last that long…). I first made it for an informal cocktail party during my studies to rave reviews from my classmates. Somehow the following year’s cohort knew of my date appetizer (les dattes de Dora), even though they had yet to meet me!
I made it again for my family’s Christmas eve gathering of 2015, which had to be cancelled as the host (me) came down with the flu. No fun, but because I made a triple-recipe in advance and froze them without baking, the boys and I were enjoying them for several months into 2016…
Prosciutto + Dates = A Gorgeous Combination
I’m pretty certain that wrapping anything with Prosciutto is a surefire way of winning over the meat-eating young and old crowd at gatherings, and this recipe didn’t fail me. There are plenty of wrapped Medjool date recipes out there but many of them are pretty sweet. The ones that are more savoury usually have dairy in them. These prosciutto-wrapped dates are different because of the addition of tart fresh cranberries. That’s it!
This year I made them for Christmas eve, for my family’s dinner. Which reminded me that I had yet to post this recipe. We’re on a vacation of sorts and spending it quietly at home with the kids, as I spent Christmas mostly in hospital fighting some nasty bugs from a hand infection. No fun again. Thankfully the antibiotics are winning the fight (much to the chagrin of my gut) and the peripheral venous catheter’s out, so I’m celebrating my regained mobility by sharing this recipe, doing some boxing
day week shopping and spending quality time with the family.
With 2017 barely a day away, here’s the recipe, just in time for the New Year weekend!
It’s Really Simple
Just grab a nice pack of Prosciutto di Parma, Medjool dates, and fresh cranberries. Fresh cranberries that have been frozen work perfectly fine too. Cranberries freeze really well and I usually freeze leftovers for future batches or turn them into Fermented Cranberry Relish.
If you’re doing the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), check the ingredients of the Prosciutto. The good AIP-compliant ones should just read pork and sea salt in the ingredients list (no preservatives, no mysterious ‘spices’). If you’re getting it sliced on-site at the counter, ask for very thin slices. I get my pre-sliced packs of Prosciutto from Costco but pretty much any supermarket with a good charcuterie/ deli meat department should stock it or another regional variant.
So just these three ingredients, a bit of rolling work and baking and you’re all set. Place the Prosciutto-wrapped dates on a nice serving platter, add some elegant silverware or whimsical toothpicks (thanks, Wendy!), and try to share them during the party…
- Medjool dates (about 16 pieces)
- 1 pack of prosciutto (or as many slices as there are Medjool dates)
- A bag of fresh cranberries (frozen ones are fine too)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet
- Slit each Medjool date lengthwise and remove the seed and stem tip (if any). Press the ends of the Medjool date gently to widen the slit
- Place a cranberry in the cavity (If your cranberries are small - like blueberry sized, you can use two) and press the Medjool date to seal the cavity (it's okay if it doesn't seal completely)
- Take a slice of Prosciutto and fold it lengthwise slightly until it's the same width as the Medjool date
- Place the stuffed Medjool date at one end of the folded Prosciutto and roll until it is wrapped up
- Continue with the rest of the ingredients until all the Prosciutto or Medjool dates are used up
- You can freeze the remaining cranberries for a future batch or another recipe
- Arrange the wrapped Medjool dates evenly on the lined baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned (if desired, flip halfway through baking)
- Serve warm or cooled to room temperature
You can double or triple the recipe and make them ahead by freezing unbaked rolled dates on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, before transferring them into freezer storage containers or freezer bags. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and bake from frozen (add several minutes to cooking time).