adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°. Grease an 8.5 x 4.5" loaf pan and flour.
Stir together boiling water, baking soda, and dates in medium bowl. Cover bowl and set aside until dates have softened and water is lukewarm about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile spread nuts on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
Stir sugar and buttermilk together in medium bowl. Add melted butter and egg and stir until mixed. Stir in date mixture until combined. In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nuts. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture with rubber spatula until just moistened. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth surface with rubber spatula.
Bake until loaf is dark Brown and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 55 minutes to one hour, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer loaf to wire rack and let cool at least one additional hour before serving. Serves 10