Holiday Bites: Parmesan Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

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Parmesan-Stuffed Dates

So how do you want to finish this year? Naughty or nice? These Parmesan Stuffed Dates are rich and decadent and feel just a little bit naughty. So come on, you’ve been nice for months on end. Santa has already made his list (and checked it twice) he’s noticed how nice you’ve been. Nice. Nice. Nice. Besides he’s so busy this time of year I doubt he’ll even notice what you’ve been up to these last few days of 2015. So snuggle up to the appetizers this holiday season. I think you’ll find that naughty has never been more nice.

Speaking of hors d’oeuvres. I love dates. All on their own dates are uniquely rich and sweet. When I was a kid I loved to pop them in my mouth and wait for the explosion of honeyed sweetness. Which is something I did almost every Christmas morning of my younger years. Dates (and nuts and naval oranges) were always part of our stocking-stuffers. So naturally I consider including them in my Christmas celebration now that I’m an adult.

Bacon Wrapped Parmesan Stuffed Dates

Suzanne Goin serves a version these sweet, salty, and smoky Bacon Wrapped Parmesan Stuffed Dates in her Los Angeles restaurant A.O.C. Each bite delivers a huge flavor bomb. Sweet and Savory. Oozing with molten cheese. This little appetizer is completely irresistible. So I adapted these Parmesan Stuffed Dates as a holiday hors d’oeuvres. I don’t remember pine nuts in Goin’s version, but I added them for their subtle hint of nuttiness – and of course pine trees are an important part of the Christmas tradition.

The best thing about these Parmesan Stuffed Dates is just how simple they are to make. The only hard part is (literally) the Parmesan, but if you’ve got a good sharp knife to cut the cheese you can make these dates with hardly any effort at all. GREG

PS Darnit! I always try to remind myself not to use the phrase “cut the cheese”. This is a food blog after all.

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Parmesan Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Print This Recipe Total time Yield Source Inspired by Suzanne GoinPublished
Parmesan Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Bacon

Ingredients

  • 12 large Medjol dates
  • 60-72 lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 4 ounce Parmesan cheese (in one large block)
  • 4 slice extra-thick bacon (cut in thirds crosswise, making 12 sections)

Directions

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

Using a small paring knife, cut a small slit across the length of each date. Gently pull each date apart; remove and discard pits. Place 5 or 6 pine nuts into the bottom of each cavity, depending on size.

Using a very sharp chef’s knife, cut the Parmesan into approximately 1-inch-by-¼-inch-by-¼-inch batons. Place a baton into each of the dates. Press the cheese well into each date and close the opening, returning the date to its original shape as much as possible. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around each date keeping the slit facing upwards and the bacon seam at the bottom; then secure each it with a pick. Arrange dates, seam side down, 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan.

Bake 4 or 5 minutes, then turn or tip each date slightly to prevent sticking and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate, allowing them to cool slightly before serving.