For breakfast this morning, I’m taking it easy. I think it’s important to do that sometimes – but then again, too much taking it easy is not a good thing. Believe me. I’ve been taking it very easy this week.

This lemon date spread is so easy, it practically makes itself. Chop up some dates. Throw in some spices and lemon. Stew it for a while. Blend it so it looks like jam. Warm up some garlic naan or roti. Dip. Munch. Repeat.

And it’s so good. It’s breakfast food, after-work food, anytime food.


Many thanks to the wonderful Joy the Baker for this recipe.

Spicy lemon date spread

Makes about two cups, which should keep sealed in the fridge for a few days.

2 1/2 cups dates (Tunisian are the best, but I’d bet money you’ll only be able to find Californian)

2 cups water

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh grated/chopped ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin*

scant 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (do it. you’ll be rewarded)

1 teaspoon sea salt (I used regular table salt, but the awesomeness factor would be lifted with sea salt. I think.)

warm naan, roti or pita to serve

Get a medium-sized saucepan. Chop up your dates and throw them in. Throw in the lemon zest, spices and ginger. Slosh in the water and lemon juice. Simmer over a medium heat for 25-30 minutes, until everything’s soft and rather squishy. Most of the water should have evaporated. You don’t want runny spread, after all.

Allow to cool for a few minutes, then blend it all up into a thick, gooey, yummy paste. Spread. Whatever.

Serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, with warm garlicky dipping bread. Share with your other half, because it’s communal and he likes it more than he says he does.

*I managed to leave the cumin out, even though it’s my favourite spice, because we’d run out. It turned out fine, but I bet it’s awesomeness would be exponentially lifted if I’d included the cumin.