Use whole dates and chop them up. The chopped dates I bought (Sunmaid) were hard as a rock.
A great complement for lamb, the bold dry rub in this recipe is a typical Tunisian combination of spices that includes cumin, caraway and crushed red pepper. Sautéed chard gets a twist with toasted pine nuts and sweet dates. We loved the sweetness of the dates in this dish, but we also tried it without and thought it was delicious. The choice is yours. Round out the meal with some whole-wheat couscous and a glass of Australian Shiraz.