Crispy bacon wrapped around sweet dates that have been stuffed with cheese and roasted to perfection, need I say more? It is nice to have an easy to assemble, crowd pleasing appetizer in your recipe file and this is one is at the top of my list.
I tried these for the first time years ago at, the then new, A.O.C. Wine Bar and Restaurant in Los Angeles and have been hooked ever since. They are sophisticated in presentation and in flavor, but deceptively easy and impressive. Let me start by saying, this is hardly a recipe with only three ingredients! My favorite variation is made with parmesan reggiano, but it is versatile, so experiment with your favorite stuffings. What I truly love is that the dates can be stuffed and wrapped up to a day in advance and then cooked prior to serving. The simple combination of flavors and textures is what makes this dish so outstanding, but then again it is wrapped in bacon. What is not to love?!
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Inspired by A.O.C Wine Bar and Restaurant
12 1/2 inch thick slices of Parmigiano-Reggiano
12 pitted Medjool dates
3-4 bacon slices, quartered
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Stuff 1 piece of cheese into each date, then wrap 1 piece of bacon around each date and place them seam side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Arrange dates 1 inch apart.
Bake on the center rack for 20-30 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Turn once during cooking to ensure proper browning.
Remove from the oven and place them on a paper towel to drain and cool for 5 minutes. These can be served immediately or at room temperature.
If you are making these in advance, pit, stuff and wrap the dates in bacon. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate them up to 24 hours.