More Than Just Recipes: Medjool Dates with Curry Mascarpone

For those who may remember my recipe for perfect oatmeal cookies, I had praised the almighty rice crispy treat, extolling its overall simplicity, as well as its enduring popularity as an American classic. For those who struggle in the kitchen, I also present the following recipe, which features almost as few ingredients as rice crispy treats, but which involves even less cooking. The real difference, however, is that these curry mascarpone dates take the top prize for originality (after all, rice crispy treats have already seen quite a bit of playing time over the years). In fact, the recipe below has long been one of my secret weapons, and I can guarantee from personal experience that these addictive little dates will flip an awful lot of wigs at your next soiree.

I poached this concept from Auberge du Soleil, where I spent my first year cooking in the Napa Valley (and learning about ten times more than I had ever learned at the CIA). These curry mascarpone dates served as a garnish for one of the restaurant’s salads, and although I can’t remember too much about the salad itself, this particular element of the dish has remained with me throughout the years (I should note, however, that the Auberge version of these dates featured candied pistachios in lieu of toasted almonds). But despite a few of my basic simplifications, the effort-versus-compliment ratio for this recipe is practically untouchable. In most cases, you would have to work much harder to achieve the same recognition. Work smarter, not harder.

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Ingredients (makes about 40 pieces)

Medjool dates, 12 oz (about 20 dates)

Mascarpone cheese, room temperature, 4 oz

Curry powder, 1T

Powdered sugar, 2T

Toasted almonds, coated with olive oil for shine, 40 each


1. Split the dates lengthwise and discard the pits. With wet fingertips (which makes handling much easier), shape the dates into shallow, concave pieces.

2. Mix together the mascarpone, curry and powdered sugar (I typically use Sun Brand Madras Curry Power, which I believe is a relatively common national brand).

3. Fill the dates with the curry mascarpone (I just use a common table knife for this step), and garnish with an almond.

1 comment to More Than Just Recipes: Medjool Dates with Curry Mascarpone

  • These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them at my next party. I find if I say ‘Indian spiced’ instead of curry people eat more. What’s with the curry hate these days?

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