in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Simple AND Fabulous!

Inspired by a dessert at Kokkari in San Francisco (financial district). Perfect way to end a dinner or a great way to start the day (I have had this for breakfast more than once).
 Greek Yogurt with Honey, Dates and Walnuts
4 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons orange or tangerine zest
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon walnut oil (or butter)
3 cups Greek style plain yogurt
12 dates, pitted and cut into slivers
In a small bowl, mix honey with orange zest and set aside. In a small non-stick skillet, toast walnuts for about 2 minutes over medium high heat, stirring frequently. Sprinkle cinnamon and salt on nuts and continue to toast another 30 seconds --the cinnamon will become aromatic. Add oil and toss to coat. Cook an additional minute. Remove from heat and set aside. Scoop 2/3 cup yogurt onto each of 4 plates (or bowls). Top each with 1 tablespoon of the honey, 1/4 of the date slivers and 1/4 of the toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.

Hints: Use really good, thick yogurt. Use local, unfiltered, non-heat processed honey for best flavor. Toast the nuts carefully so they don't scorch but get golden. The cinnamon will darken them but they should not be burnt. The quality of the dates will matter, too. It is easy to decrease or increase the number of servings, however, the salt and oil may not need to be proportional--watch you don't use too much of either.  You can use more honey if you need to have it sweeter. And you can adjust the date and walnut ratio to your liking as well. Also, the yogurt can be as little as 1/2 cup or as great as 1 cup. I guess the amounts in this dish are totally flexible! I have written the recipe the way I like it--make it how you like it and we'll all be happy.

Bill and I had lovely dinner at Kokkari's and I told him I wanted dessert. He said he would just have a bit of mine. When the menu arrived, I told him he may want to reconsider because I didn't think he was going to like this. He asked what I was going to order, rolled his eyes at "Greek Yogurt with Honey" and let me order. I was glad that it came in such a generous portion because one bite and his eyes rolled for a different reason. This is really delightful!

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