Spicy Lemon Date Spread



Have you ever tried to peel dates?

Yea… me neither.  Except I totally tried.  It was hard. It was futile.

Did you know you’re not supposed to peel dates? You’re not.  All it takes is one text to a friend.. and you’ll know for sure.

Texting with sticky fingers. It’s just real.  No biggie.


I love this spread.  It’s bold.  It’s how I want to live my whole life:  sweet, spicy, tart, and good on everything.

Yea… that’s exactly how I want to live my life.  Most days.  Most days are tart days.


This spread is flavored with lemon zest, fresh grated ginger, earthy cumin, and spicy chili flakes.  There’s also a load of fresh lemon juice.  Just lovely.  It packs a punch.


You saw the closeup.  This is a less close up.

I just can’t resist.  He’s all fluff.


This spread gets cooked down and pureed.

This is the cooked down part of the process.

Maybe I ate a hearty amount of spread just like this?  So what.  Stop staring.


I served this spicy sweet spread on warm garlic naan. It was divine!  It was piled on.  It was double dipped.  It was alluringly spicy and irresistibly sweet.  This spread would also be incredible on a turkey sandwich, or as a thick sauce with roasted chicken or pork, and smashed potatoes.

Think big! Live big too!

Spicy Lemon Date Spread

adapted just slightly from Party Like A Culinista

Print this Recipe!

makes about 2 cups of spread

2 1/2 cups pitted, chopped dates (dates don’t get peeled)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cups water

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger (ginger gets peeled)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

scant 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon sea salt

warm naan or pita bread

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.

Spread is delicious warm and at room temperature.  Spread will last, covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days.

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96 thoughts on “Spicy Lemon Date Spread

  1. This sounds so interesting! I’d love to try it! We’re big date people in my family.
    That table you’re shooting on: is it right underneath a sky light?? You have the most amazing light right there!

  2. Oh I laughed at the peeling dates part! I feel your pain, I didn’t realize I bought shelled edamame beans the other day and I had to shell an entire bag. Anyways this spread looks so good.

  3. You crack me up. Peeling dates. It reminds me of peeling grapes. I hope you never have to peel grapes. Don’t. It’s not necessary. Ever. I’m so glad dates don’t have to be peeled or I wouldn’t make this. This looks delicious.

  4. 1– Have you ever eaten dates as a snack? I love them! (Though when I was in college, I had friends asking if I was eating cockroaches– eww!)

    2) Do you make your naan??? I love naan and have wondered how to make it!

  5. I’m so used to eating dates whole that I would never have thought to make them into a spread let alone combine them with such wonderful flavours. I love how it’s sweet and spicy and lemony all at the same time!

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