Cafe Society

Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: Date and walnut phyllo rolls with Greek yogurt and honey

Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.

Even though it's autumn, the bees are still buzzing, at least in Pete and Barb's backyard. "Pete and I just pulled the top frame off our beehives, and have about fifty pounds of honey," Barb reports. And that, she says, begs the question: "What the heck are we going to do with it all?" She and Pete use honey is some of their savory dishes, but Barb prefers the sweetness of honey in desserts, like these phyllo date rolls. "The phyllo dought is a royal pain to work with," she admits, "but it's so worth it." The recipe, she notes, comes from

Date and Walnut Phyllo Rolls with Greek Yogurt and Honey From the January 2006 issue of Bon Appétit By Elizabeth Falkner Makes 8 servings


14 ounces Medjool dates (about 1 1/2 cups), pitted 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup honey 1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds (from about 10 pods), finely ground in a spice mill or in a mortar with pestle

8 17 1/2x12 1/2-inch or sixteen 13 1/2x8 1/2-inch sheets fresh phyllo pastry or frozen, thawed. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup Greek whole-milk yogurt


1. Combine dates, walnuts, 3 tablespoons honey, orange peel, and cardamom in processor. Blend until paste forms. 2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. If using 17 1/2x12 1/2-inch phyllo sheets, place stack of 8 phyllo sheets on work surface. Halve stack crosswise, forming 16 sheets, each 12 1/2x8 3/4 inches; arrange in 1 stack. Or if using 13 1/2x8 1/2-inch phyllo sheets, stack 16 sheets on work surface. 3. Cover phyllo stack with plastic wrap, then damp kitchen towel. Remove 1 phyllo sheet from stack and place on work surface; brush with melted butter. Top with second sheet; brush with butter. 4. Starting 1 inch from edge at short end of phyllo, spoon 3 tablespoons date mixture in dollops in row parallel to edge. 5. Mold date mixture into log, leaving 1/2-inch border at edges of phyllo. Roll up date log in phyllo, enclosing filling and forming roll (filling will be exposed at ends). 6. Transfer to baking sheet; brush with butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo, butter, and date mixture. 7. Bake until golden, about 23 minutes. Cool on baking sheet. 8. Spoon yogurt into small bowl (or 8 individual bowls); drizzle remaining 1/4 cup honey over yogurt. 9. Place 1 phyllo roll on each of 8 plates. Serve with honey-yogurt.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Pete's blog.