Barhi Dates with Almonds in Syrup

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Barhi Dates with Almonds in Syrup
Serves 4
They have the crunch and juiciness of a Granny Smith apple, but they can be as sweet as honey. They’re dates! Fresh off the tree. They don’t look like any fruit that most Americans have seen but the taste is familiar, just like a date. Barhi dates are a delicacy. Of the 6,000 acres of date trees in the Coachella Valley of California the center of the nation’s date industry, only 40 are planted with Barhis. And their season is short barely 3 months. Enjoy these wonderful fruits fresh or try this traditional recipe.
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  1. 32 Fresh Bahri Dates
  2. 32 Whole, Raw Almonds
  3. 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  4. 1/3 cup Fresh Orange Juice
  5. 5 Whole Cloves
  6. 1 Cinnamon Stick
  7. 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
  8. Peel from 1 Orange & 1 Lemon
  9. Water, as needed
  10. 1 cup Ricotta Cheese
  1. Trim stem end of dates and pit each with an olive pitter.
  2. Stuff each date with one almond.
  3. Put 1 cup water in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Add sugar while stirring until dissolved.
  4. Add orange juice, cloves and cinnamon.
  5. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice.
  6. Simmer one minute and add stuffed dates.
  7. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes. (Be sure almonds do not fall out.)
  8. Turn off heat and let entire mixture cool, uncovered until all reaches room temperature.
  9. Refrigerate entire recipe.
  10. Trim orange and lemon peel of all white pith and julienne finely.
  11. Simmer in one cup water for 15 minutes, drain off water and repeat with one cup new water.
  12. Drain and add julienne rind to the dates and syrup.
  13. To serve, portion ¼ cup ricotta cheese per serving and top with 8 stuffed dates with a drizzle of syrup and julienne rind.
Nino Salvaggio