Gourmet Guru August

Dates and a Greek dip – that‘s what’s going on in domestic goddess Katie Heskett’s kitchen this month
Wednesday , 05 September 2012
Get date happy
Get date happy
The beloved Greek dip taramasalata
The beloved Greek dip taramasalata

Dear Katie
Do you have any recipes for dates? I love eating them plain but don’t know if there are any other ways to serve them. Amina, The Greens
A. Dates are such an integral part of Ramadan celebrations, and for most of us it’s the only time we really enjoy them. However, there are so many different recipe ideas, including these favourites...

Date ice cream
My favourite recipe(and it’s really easy) is for date ice cream. Now most of us don’t have time to make ice cream from scratch (believe me, I’ve tried and despite hours of care and attention, my raspberry attempt still ended up a block of ice) so I’d recommend finely chopping up about half a cup of dates (or put in a whizzer if you’ve got one) and adding to a large pot of really good quality vanilla ice cream (make sure it’s a little melted so it’ll be easier to mix together). Serve with a drizzle of milk chocolate sauce – just put one of your favourite chocolate bars in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes and then pour over.

Date smoothie
This is a really healthy way to start the day (especially as dates are so high in fibre and vitamins!). Just add a cup of low-fat vanilla yoghurt (Rachel’s Organic is my favourite), a cup of milk and a cup of pitted dates and some ice cubes into a blender until it’s smooth. For an extra health kick you can add in a banana.

My New Favourite
My world has been transformed after discovering Carrefour’s taramasalata. I’m a huge fan of the Greek dip but never found it in the UAE before. While the little pot alone isn’t really ideal, I’ve found that if you mix it with a packet of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, a squeeze of lemon and a lot of black pepper (and a strip of finely chopped smoked salmon if you want to really treat yourself), it’s actually better than the original. Try it and let me know what you think...

Got a culinary query?
Send your questions to Katie at gourmet@itp.com with Dear Katie in the subject line – Katie will endeavour to answer all your questions, and you may even see your Q&A here!

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