Root Beer-Date Puree

While experimenting with different liquids to plump up dried dates, Dufresne had an epiphany about root beer. “They both have dark, opulent caramel flavors that play off each other,” he says. The sweetness of the compote makes it a natural match for rich meats and oily fish. Slideshow:  Cranberry RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Best New Chefs All-Star Cookbook 

Root beer date puree by Wylie Dufresne
Photo: © Chris Court
Total Time:
45 mins
2 cups


  • 9 ounces pitted dates

  • One 12-ounce bottle root beer

  • Kosher salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the dates and half of the root beer. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the dates are very soft, about 40 minutes. Add water by the tablespoon if the dates get too dry before they’re soft.

  2. Transfer the date mixture to a blender, add the remaining root beer and puree until smooth. Season with salt.

Make Ahead

The puree can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serve With

Roasted pork, lamb or duck or broiled or grilled salmon or mackerel.

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