Goat Cheese Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Dates

This idea as I mentioned, came from a restaurant in Santa Monica, where everything we ate was delicious. I took this recipe and this recipe and combined them, so to say, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Ingredients

6 oz. of your favorite goat cheese

24 plump Medjool dates, plus one more so you can taste it first

13 slices thinly sliced bacon, cut in half

16 roasted almonds

1/4 cup honey

1 tbls chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, add more if you’d like.

Salt and pepper to taste

Arugula for plating, if you’d like

Balsamic vinegar or glaze, for drizzle

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°. Prepare a baking sheet lines with a baking rack.

Split the dates in half lengthwise, but don’t cut the date all the way through. Remove the pit and discard. Stuff each date with one almond and some goat cheese, probably around 1/2 teaspoon. Pinch to seal the date shut.

Next, wrap each date with bacon and place seam side down on the prepared baking rack. (This can be done ahead of time, and I suggest if you have other things to cook, go ahead and do these the night before and keep them in the fridge. It takes a bit of time to wrap the dates.)

(I put the dates on parchment paper to start, and then moved them to the baking rack)

In a small bowl whisk, honey, rosemary, cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle over the dates and then bake for 20 ish minutes. Until the bacon is crisp. These can be served warm or at room temperature, they are good either way.

To serve, plate with arugula and a drizzle of balsamic.

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