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Date-Mint Chutney

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Yields about 1-1/2 cups

  • by Jessica Bard from Fine Cooking
    Issue 98

In this Indian-inspired condiment, the richness of the dates gets a lift from the freshness of the mint. It's great with roast meats, and it also makes a simple spread for crostini paired with blue cheese.

  •  1  tsp. fennel seeds
  •  1  tsp. unsalted butter
  •  1-3/4 cups (8 oz.) pitted dates
  •  1/2  cup unsweetened shredded coconut, preferably fresh (optional)
  •  1/2  cup packed fresh spearmint or orange mint leaves
  • 1  Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  •  1-1/2 cups small-diced yellow onion
  •  1  tsp. minced garlic
  •   Kosher salt
  •  1-1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar

In a small bowl, mix the fennel seeds and butter with the back of a spoon. Transfer to a cutting board and chop until the seeds are finely minced.

Put the dates and coconut (if using) in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped (but not a paste). Add the fennel-butter mixture and the mint and pulse until the mint is evenly and finely chopped. Set aside.

In a 10-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt and continue cooking until the onions are light golden brown, another 1 to 2 minutes.

Turn the heat to low and add the vinegar and 1/2 cup water (it will sputter a bit). Stir until the bubbling subsides and then add the date mixture and stir until well incorporated. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Great chutney for an appetizer. Tasted great and lasted for over a week!

Fantastic recipe. I just made it this Easter and it was instant hit. I served it with 5 year old raw milk cheddar and home made rye caraway bread. It will be in my favourite recipe collection.

This chutney is out of this world!! The texture, the flavor, the ease of preparation...I couldn't be happier. Made it to have with pita, as a go-with for the Israeli couscous salad with mint and feta. Will definitely make this over and over!

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