Seems like most people know how to cook their Thanksgiving turkey; what brine to use, how to stuff it, etc. And they are usually pretty committed to certain sides – glazed carrots, yams or mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce. But there’s a lot of wiggle room where the appetizers are concerned. That’s where I seem to deviate the most, anyway.
I actually made this date spread for last year’s Superbowl party, but I remember thinking how perfect the flavors would be for Thanksgiving. And here we are, 11 days away!
Spicy Lemon Date Spread
Makes about 2 cups
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
• 2 1/2 cups pitted, pre-chopped dates (I used SunSweet)
• 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2 cups water
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 1 tablespoon fresh peeled grated ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 teaspoon salt
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add all ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil. Then turn heat down to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the water is evaporated, about 30 minutes. (The dates will begin to break down, and the simmering mixture will resemble a very thick stew.)
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Place mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Puree mixture until smooth.
Serve warm or at room temperature with naan or pita bread. (Spread will last, covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days.)
(adapted from Joy the Baker)