Preheat oven to 350º F.
Prepare loaf pan, well buttered with a rectangle of parchment paper on the bottom.
Zest the orange, then juice it. Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil, add the zest, orange juice and dates to the boiling water.
Let sit for about 1/2 hour.
While that is soaking, cream together the butter and sugar.
Add vanilla and egg, mix well.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix all ingredients, including the nuts, together in the mixing bowl.
Pour into prepared loaf pan.
Bake one hour or do toothpick test, watching carefully after 50 minutes of baking.