Medjool Dates Stuffed with Pistachio Mastic Paste
Updated: Jun 19
The holiday season involves endless to-do lists, full calendars, everyone wants you to bake something, the neighbors expect a little treat (especially if you are a food blogger lol) and feeling overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I try to keep my lists and things to make to a minimum so the holidays are more enjoyed and feel less like a chore (expect deep cleaning the house before everyone shows up on Christmas Day).
So I developed a few recipes that you can either make in advance or just like this one take minutes to assemble. And the pistachio paste can be used in so many different ways which is a big bonus. you can even gift it in jars (just add a ribbon to show effort) its so luxurious and not expected.
This is a simple yet a festive bite size dessert to serve during the holidays and to include in your cookie gift boxes. It’s simple and uses few In fact only 3 luxurious ingredients.
The secret to this treat is two things emerald green pistachios and the best medjool dates you can find. This type of dates are sweet and chewy and taste like the best caramel you have every had.
The Secret to a vibrant green paste:
For the brightest green pistachios, it’s best to blanch the nuts first and remove the skins. A process that’s so simple once the pistachios sit in the water for a few minutes their skin will come off pretty easily. In a bowl of hot water add 1 cup of raw pistachios. Let it sit for 20 minutes or so until the water is cool enough to handle. Drain, and rub the nuts between a dishtowel or between your fingers to remove the skin it should come off pretty easily.
Stuffed with pistachio mastic paste
How to make pistachio paste?
Mastic: An aromatic gum or resin that exudes from the bark of a Mediterranean tree. Often used in desert and as flavoring.
1 cup raw shelled pistachios
1 tsp Mastic paste or 2-3 mastic pearls (available at Middle Eastern stores or online)
Honey or simple syrup to taste
Mastic paste: made out of mastic resin and sugar
In a food processor, put shelled pistachios and process for a minute, until they turn into fine crumbs.
Add 1 tsp of mastic paste. If you don’t have mastic paste just use 2-3 mastic pearls with 1/2 tsp of granulated sugar to mortar and crush until you get a fine powder. Add the mastic powder to the pistachios
Add 2 tsp of honey or simple syrup (which is equal parts water to sugar boiled down until it’s syrupy) to taste.
The dates are sweet enough so if you don’t want to sweeten your pistachios paste you don’t have to it’s completely up to you.
If the mixture is too thick add a bit of water 1 tsp at a time until you get the consistency you like.
Make sure you scrape the bowl in between pulsing
The pistachio paste will go through stages: whole nuts, crumbs, powder, paste. And the entire process takes less than 2-3 minutes.
To make your pistachios into a smooth nut butter keep grinding until the pistachios release their oil and become a smooth, creamy paste, adding a bit of water to help it out.
You can use pistachio paste for so many things to flavor ice cream, cookies and pastries etc. or even eat it with the spoon.
Palestinian Medjool Dates from Jericho
Make a lengthwise slit in each date, carefully push the sides to open the fruit and remove the pit.
Stuff each date with 1 tsp of the pistachio paste.
If you are assembling your dates in advance make sure you cover them well so they don’t dry out.
I have also added 1 tsp of the pistachio paste to a candy wrapper (you can buy the wrappers at craft or home stores) and wrapped it tightly for a delicious pistachio bonbon little treat.
Store your pistachio paste in an airtight container in the fridge. The pistachio paste should last several weeks. You can also leave the paste in a cool pantry. If the oil separates just make sure you stir it with a spoon before using.