I can’t tell you exactly where I found this recipe a good few years back but I have had it written in my recipe book and have made it a few tens of times. It definitely originates from my habit of ripping off a little page corner in a newspaper or magazine which I sometimes do whenever I find some interesting and good recipe. I never end up preparing anything as per original recipe but that’s a different story altogether…..?
Going back to this recipe, I just love this combination of sweet with salty it just buzzes for me and if you like that too, you definitely are on the right page. It is just a great combo that really pleases my palate as well as taste buds. Those ‘guys’ (the balls) look impressive and the taste it’s just as impressive and super delish.
I have tried them in few variations and couldn’t say which was better than another which is a great thing, right?
I will give you some ideas -just go to the recipe notes to see what other ingredients you may want to try and combine if you fancy getting a little adventurous but by choosing this snack you have already shown your adventurous side.
They may look a bit complicate to make at first glance but the truth is about to be revealed… they are really easy to assemble and you will have an outcome that is guaranteed to impress even yourself with, try with your guests as well. ??
All you need it’s a few ingredients and you’re ready to go.
Here we have this lovely recipe, as I’m pretty sure you can’t wait any longer to find out about it, let’s get rolling!
Dates, grapes and goat cheese super balls snack
- 8 dates (pitted) (Medjoul variety is a must)
- 8 red grapes (seedless) nice and crisp
- 1 pinch pepper (freshly ground)
- 100 g goat cheese (aprox)
- 80 g pistachios (salted) chopped and toasted
- I will start with most challenging part of this recipe and that is chopping the pistachio nuts and toasting them. Hard task hey?! ?. Once finished, put them on a plate and set aside.
- Place the grapes onto a plate and freshly ground for some black pepper over . Pepper will stick if they have been freshly washed and they are slightly damp otherwise you can put the paper into the cheese it's absolutely fine, or, coat the grapes in oil. * As you can see I have grinded the pepper after placing the grapes inside the date.
- Cut open the dates and then slightly squeeze the dates to both ends to kind of open the cut a little bit. *
- Place each grape into the cut date. Be pretty gentle with carrying out this task. ?
- Divide the goats cheese into eight equal pieces. Place each piece or chunk of cheese into your hands and flatten it with the heel of your other hand.
- Now it's time to assemble those little 'fellas' and you can do this by placing each date that already has a grape cushioned inside it on the flattened cheese. Bring the cheese around the date covering it completely.
- Roll these balls as you make them, one by one into the chopped pistachios and if those are not salted you could sprinkle some course sea salt over the nuts. It gives that perfect extra saltiness that it's really needed to complement the sweetness of this snack. You know what I mean, right?! ??
I've mentioned that Medjoul dates are a must and this is because they are big and juicy and very easy to handle. I would not recommend any other ones simply because if they are small and dry obviously it would be challenging to fit a grape inside it so just use these nice quality dates.
After cutting the Medjoul dates open, simply squeeze them to enlarge the cut. For reference see picture below:
- The recipe was calling for a bit of olive oil but I have left that out as I didn't find it necessary at all. It was for the pepper to stick to the grapes.
- A few more ingredients that you could use here: some coarse sea salt, a dash of Cayenne chilli pepper, flaked red dry chillies.
- If you don't like goats cheese, just use other type of cheese that has the same texture and it isn't made from goat's milk.
- Why pistachio nuts you may ask? Well, they look good, colourful and are really tasty as well as crunchy. You can certainly try and use different nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashew, macadamia, etc.
If you don't fancy all this rolling business you could simply make this combination as a salad in a bowl (I have made it that way few times it tastes as great obviously but it doesn't look just impressive). If you're not too fast about the looks, go for a salad, it's as beautiful and yummy.
Can be served as both starter or desert.
Bon appétit! Please let me know what you think of those beauties. Did you like them as much I do?