Makes six servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
4 oz. soft goat cheese
2 tbs. chopped pecans
1 tsp. orange zest
18 large Medjool dates
The day before: In a small bowl, mash the goat cheese, then stir in the pecans and orange zest.
Use a paring knife to slice along one side of each date and pull out the pit. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of the goat-cheese mixture and stuff it into each date, then gently press the date closed around the cheese. Place the dates on a serving platter. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
The day of: Remove the dates from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to allow them to come to room temperature. Place a bowl of toothpicks alongside them. Garnish with herbs, if desired.