When it comes to soaking dates, usually it’s done to simply rehydrate an older, dried-out date that’s been sitting on that market shelf for too long. It becomes a more plump, juicier version of itself. This recipe works great with fresh dates too, since the main goal is to infuse flavor and rejuvenate. Inspired by the rosewater-soaked dates at Dune restaurant in Atwater Village, these dates offer a refreshing, floral and bright burst of citrus, mint and chile before the sweet plushness of the date settles in.
Place the dates in a 16-ounce airtight container or bowl so they lie flat and in a single layer. In a small saucepan, heat the water until it begins to simmer. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to remove the orange’s zest in wide strips. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the orange zest strips, mint leaves and chiles. Let the water cool to room temperature then pour over the dates. Cover the container, transfer to the refrigerator and let the dates soak for at least 4 hours and up to two weeks.
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