I don’t have enough finger food recipes on my blog! If your holiday menu is still missing some vegan hors d’oeuvres (thank you, spell check), here is a very quick and easy solution. These kalamata olive tapenade stuffed dates are the perfect little bite. They’re salty and sweet, with a fresh note from the herbs and a little bit of crunch from the toasted pine nuts.
I did some research on savory vegan stuffed dates and I found a lot of cashew cheese options, seitan or coconut bacon optional. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that! But I wasn’t really in the mood for cashew cheese, or making anything more complicated than scooping a filling into a date. Kalamata olives were in the fridge and the rest is history.
I’ll admit that these aren’t the most attractive things in the world, which is why I spruced up the serving dish with a bunch of extra parsley. Luckily, once you try them, I think you’ll agree that appearances aren’t everything. If I had some nice green olives on hand, I might have used them instead for some more color contrast. Or even black olives, instead of the purple ones. Hindsight twenty-twenty… also, I think adding little toothpicks would be a good serving idea for a crowd. 🙂
This oblong serving dish is courtesy of our landlord. After it sat in the cabinet for a couple of months we finally figured out that it’s supposed to be for olives (if you can’t tell, we’re not very fancy people). I prefer to eat my olives in a far less dainty fashion, so it’s never really gotten used for that purpose, but I’ve been dying to find something that will plate up in it nicely. So here we are 🙂
These stuffed dates can definitely be made in advance, but they only take a few minutes anyway, so it’s a good recipe to fit into your day/menu wherever there’s space.
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- (optional) 2 tsp. finely chopped shallot
- ⅓ c. loosely-packed fresh curly parsley (or half that amount of the flat-leafed variety)
- (optional) 1 tb. nutritional yeast
- ⅔ c. pitted kalamata olives
- about 15 pitted Medjool dates
- olive tapenade (see above, or use your favorite recipe with parsley added)
- 3 tb. toasted pine nuts
- Add the garlic, shallot, parsley, and nutritional yeast to a blender or food processor (I use my Magic Bullet). Pulse until the parsley is finely chopped.
- Add the kalamata olives, and pulse just until the olives are broken up into small pieces - you don't want to puree them.
- Stir the toasted pinte nuts into the olive tapenade.
- Open each Medjool date and scoop in enough of the tapenade mixture to fill it completely.
For a nut-free option, try toasted sunflower seeds or chunky breadcrumbs.
P.S. If you’re in need of additional recipes, Huffington Post put together an awesome list of Vegan Christmas Recipes.