Ask Evan: What is a special, quick and delicious appetizer to bring to a holiday party?

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Every week I answer a question from a Good Food listener. You can email me a question to, leave one on Facebook or add one in the comments section here. This week’s came from Susan:

What is a special, quick and delicious appetizer to bring to a holiday party when you don’t want to get in the way of the hostess in the kitchen? (Dips are OUT).

Why not make some delicious Dates filled with Fennel-Lavender Scented Goat Cheese topped with Pistachio?

My stuffed dates with Cypress Grove Purple Haze Goat Cheese and pistachios. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

We have such delicious dates at the farmers markets.  Get a few nice Medjools.  One per person is enough.  If you have money to spare buy Cypress Grove Purple Haze Goat Cheese.  If you want to make the filling yourself then simply get a log of plain goat cheese and add some fennel pollen or ground up fennel seed and ground up lavender to it.  It can take a fair amount of fennel but be careful with the lavender or else your filling will taste like a well scented lotion.  I use my immersion blender to whip it all together.  Then I simply make an incision in the top of the date.  Carefully remove the pit, then pat the date into a bit rounder shape.  Use an espresso spoon if you have one to fill the date with the cheese.   You can garnish the top by dipping the cheese filled date into finely chopped roasted pistachios.  Make a couple extra for yourself.  If you really want to take it over the top cut thin strips of prosciutto and wrap them around the date like a little cumberbund.