Warm Dates with Marcona Almonds & Honey

Serves 4 as an appetizer

Cooking dates quickly and in a generous pour of olive oil makes them warm, plump and brings out their nuances. Here we pair them with orange peel, rosemary, marcona almonds and a touch of honey for an excellent cocktail hour bite that also feels festive and fresh. Since there are so few ingredients here, use the best ones possible. This appetizer recipe is also easy to multiply—I’d count on 3 to 4 dates per person. Serve with toothpicks and crusty bread on the side.


  • 12 Rancho Meladuco medjool dates
  • ¼ cup quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • Three 2-inch strips fresh orange peel
  • 2 small rosemary sprigs, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup marcona almonds
  • Honey, for drizzling
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Using needle nose pliers or sturdy tweezers, remove the pits from the dates. (Check out the Rancho Meladuco Instagram page for a quick video tutorial on how to do this.)

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the orange peel and rosemary sprigs and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the dates and cook, turning occasionally, until they are plump and warmed through (be careful as the dates can burn), 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the marcona almonds.

Spoon the dates onto a serving plate and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and more rosemary. Serve right away with toothpicks and crusty bread for dipping.

recipe & photo: Julia Heffelfinger @JuliaHeff

Note: You’ll want nice plump dates for this recipe! Grab a box here: https://ranchomeladuco.com/product/rancho-meladuco-medjool-dates-2-lb-box-organic-2019-harvest-pre-order/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *