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June 21, 2013 / theyellowbungalowla

a delicious day & a fantastic recipe…

Each Thursday, I feature someone who is inspiring me with their food.

Dates, almonds, crostini, and goat cheese are some of my favorite flavors, so when I met Sandra Cordero a couple of weeks ago at Tastemade’s studio for a culinary shoot, I knew it was going to be a delicious day.

Sandra is a chef based here in Los Angeles, and was on hand to shoot a video featuring some of her recipes for authentic Spanish tapas, including this incredible date jam I’m about to share with you. The recipe uses simple ingredients, pulls together quickly, and most importantly, is incredibly delicious.

I confess I have a deep love of dates. At the Santa Monica Farmers Market, we have several farmers who bring a variety of sticky-sweet dates to market each week. I regularly stop by at least one of the stands and sample a date (or two) while gathering the items on my list. For this reason and many more, I always keep a jar of dates in the fridge. However, my dates often get pushed to the back of the shelf, lost among the jars of raw nuts, olives, and specialty flours. And the truth is, my dates often get a little, well, outdated (pun intended!).

Dates will last for months if stored in the fridge. When they’re fresh, they are soft and sticky like candy, perfect as a simple snack or added into a salad. Over time, however, they can get a little dried out, especially if purchased directly from the farmer because they have no preservatives. Once they’re a little dried out, dates are better suited (in my humble opinion, of course) for cooking or baking. I had a feeling that my dates were a little, ahem, dried out…cue Sandra and her recipe for date jam!

I whipped Sandra’s date jam up in no time, and followed her simple instructions for creating a delicious crostini that combines the caramel-y jam with creamy goat cheese and crunchy almonds. I didn’t have any Marcona almonds on hand, but I did have blistered almonds so I used those instead. Read on for the recipe and to find out how to pull it together into an incredible crostini. Thanks Sandra for sharing the recipe!

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