I made this Spicy Lemon Date Spread from the blog Joy the Baker for my family over the holiday. They ate it on toasted pita bread and I just ate spoonfuls of the spread on its own because I can’t have pita bread. Although this dip is totally delicious on a spoon, I could tell that it would be even better on pita bread or naan or on the Sweet Fennel Scented Sweet Flakey Bread (Meetha Paratha) or the Green Paratha that my sister posted….but I can’t eat any of those breads. That’s what I get for reading baking blogs I guess…but the pictures are sooooo pretty and I like Joy’s style! To be fair, she suggests that this could be a thick sauce for chicken or pork, and it could, I just got really stuck on wanting to eat it on some sort of flat bready thing…you know?
SPICY LEMON DATE SPREAD
makes about 2 cups of spread
- 2 1/2 cups pitted, chopped medjool dates (about 35 dates, 22 oz of dates with pits)
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- scant 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- warm naan or pita bread or baked chickpea pancake (recipe below)
- extra virgin olive oil for serving
- Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped dates, lemon juice, water, zest, ginger, and spices to the pan. Simmer until almost all of the water is evaporated. The dates will begin to break down, and the simmering mixture will resemble a very thick stew, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
- Place mixture in the bowl of a food processor fit with a blade attachment. Puree mixture until smooth. That’s it! Serve it up warm or at room temperature.
- 1 1/4 C lukewarm water
- 1 C chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (optional)
1. Pour the warm water into a mixing bowl and sift the chickpea flour into it to eliminate lumps. Whisk the chickpea flour, water, salt , pepper and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil together, cover the bowl with a towel, and let the batter sit for at least a few minutes.
2. Heat the oven to 450F. Put another 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a well seasoned or nonstick 12 inch pizza pan or skillet. Stir the sliced onion and rosemary into the batter- it will still be a little thicker that was originally then pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the pancake is firm and the edges set. Heat the broiler and brush the top of the socca with a little more oil if you like.
3. Set the socca a few inches away from the broiler for a minute or two, just long enough to brown it spottily, but not long enough that it would color evenly or burn (I left my first one in a bit too long), Cut it into wedges and serve hot or at least warm.